Water desalination cost literature: review and assessment
Ioannis C. Karagiannis*, Petros G. Soldatos
Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, 75 Iera Odos Street, GR 11855 Athens, Greece Tel. +30 210 5294769; Fax +30 210 5294776; email: email@example.com Received 21 December 2006; accepted 28 February 2007
Abstract As water resources are rapidly being exhausted, more and more interest is paid to the desalination of seawater and brackish water concentrations. Today, current desalination methods require large amounts of energy which is costly both in environmental pollution and in money terms. Many studies of water desalination costs appear regularly in water desalination and renewable energy related publications. Cost estimates seem to be very much site specific and the cost per cubic metre ranges from installation to installation. This variability exists because the water cost depends upon many factors, unique in each case, most important of which are the desalination method, the level of feed water salinity, the energy source, the capacity of the desalting plant, and other site related factors. This paper attempts the taxonomy of a large number of related publications, classified in a systematic method and format, in order to allow meaningful comparisons and facilitate the derivation of useful conclusions. Keywords: Desalination methods; Brackish; Seawater; Hybrid systems; Renewable energy sources; Desalination tools
1. Introduction Water is an abundant natural resource that covers three quarters of the earth’s surface. However, only about 3% of all water sources is potable. About 25% of worlds’ population does not have access to satisfactory quality and/or quantity of freshwater and more than 80 countries
face severe water problems. Worldwide drought and desertification are expected to sharpen the problem. Even countries that at...