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Countries Who Rely On Desalination

Desalination is a means of transitioning non-potable salt water into potable fresh water.

Puritech PP melt blown filter cartridges used in pretreament of RO desalination plnat

Desalination is the process of purifying saline water to make it fit for human consumption. Of all the water on earth, 97.5% of it is saltwater with only 2.5% being fresh water. However, over two-thirds of the fresh water is trapped in glaciers and ice caps in the polar regions of the globe which leaves only 0.83% of the total water on earth being accessible clean water. While some countries have the privilege of having many lakes and rivers within their border (such as Canada), others are not as lucky and can only rely on desalinating marine water to cater for their local water demands. Desalination occurs through two primary processes of distillation and reverses osmosis.

Desalination in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia leads the globe in the production of desalinated water with a daily production capacity of 117 million cubic feet. The country has 27 desalination plants spread along the country’s coastline with 21 located along the Red Sea and six located on the East Coast. The desalination facilities employ two different desalination processes with seven plants using the multi-effect distillation process, eight plants using the reverse osmosis technology and 12 using the multi-stage distillation process. The country has the largest floating desalination plant in the world with a capacity of producing up to 882,867 cubic feet.

Desalination in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is a desert nation which has extremely scarce fresh water resources and a fresh water per capita demand of 650 liters per day. The UAE’s primary source of fresh water is aquifers. However, the water from most of the aquifers is saline, with some having up to eight times more salinity than seawater. This means it is not fit for human consumption. Therefore, the Abu Dhabi-based government has heavily invested in desalination of sea water and has established eight desalination plants in the Gulf state at the cost of over $3.2 billion. These desalination plants are run by a government foreign investor partnership.

Desalination in Kuwait

Kuwait is a desert country located in the Middle East. The country has a severe shortage of natural fresh water sources with zero permanent rivers and relies on its desalination plants for its fresh water. The country is known for being the first country in history to establish a large desalination plant for the large-scale supply of clean water in 1951. Currently, the country’s desalination plants have a daily capacity of producing 58.3 million cubic feet where 52 million cubic feet is generated through multi-stage flash distillation and the remaining 6 million cubic feet is produced through reverse osmosis. In 1965, the government commissioned the construction of a water-supply system which incorporated the use of desalination to serve the capital, Kuwait City. This includes the world-famous Kuwait Water Towers, a water storage facility with a storage capacity of 3,602,096 cubic feet.

Future of Desalination

Improvements in technologies are pushing down the operating costs of desalination plants with studies being conducted to assess the viability of using solar energy to power the desalination plants. Desalination is expected to grow in the future as the growing population in the Middle East will cause an increase in the demand for fresh water.


How to make your filter cartridges last longer

With so many different water treatment products and processes on the market, including bag, depth and surface filtration, the use of filtration systems is becoming increasingly prevalent and manufacturers are able to design highly specific models that are designed to suit exacting applications and the particular needs of industries, such as medical, beverage, food, engineering and chemical processing.

But when you use a filter cartridge in an industrial grade system, how can you make your cartridge last longer? The trick lies in firstly selecting the correct cartridge and processing system for your application, protecting the final more expensive cartridges with lower cost rough filtration and the second is to monitor its use carefully and fully maintain the system to ensure complete efficiency and adherence to usage instructions. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Which type of filter cartridge?

Water filter and treatment technologies are now highly advanced and can be selected to offer exacting results of up to 99.99% reduction of certain contaminants if they are correctly selected, applied and managed within the process.

It is vital that a water treatment specialist carries out a full diagnosis of your needs and the operation before making recommendations about the right type of process and cartridge that will give the results you need.

Often, cartridges are used alongside other water treatment and filtration processes and will need to sit holistically within a larger system. Your technician will review inputs such as the following:

The process you are using

From the removal of dirt from borehole water through to the removal of bacteria from water used in food manufacture, the broader water treatment and filtration process needs to be considered along with the necessary outputs and results.

The temperature

Cartridges are designed to withstand temperatures that can rise as high as steam sterilisation level (for example, where bacteria and viruses are being removed.) Each cartridge will be designed to operate within a certain temperature band and will work at its optimum when this is maintained.

The liquid flow rate

Additionally, some cartridges are designed to work with high liquid flows and others with lower flows. The right choice will again maximise working lifespan and integrity of the delivery mechanism within.

The micron rating

From Cryptosporidium, Giardia cysts and yeast cells through to granular sand particles and paint residue, each filter must be carefully matched to the material that is being removed from the water.

An incorrect selection will naturally mean that the results of the process are compromised and the cartridge blocks faster if it is overloaded.

2. Monitoring and maintenance

Once the correct cartridge is selected, it is then essential that it is used strictly in line with the user guidelines which are provided.

Each cartridge will be supplied individually labelled and boxed for ease of installation and it is essential that the maintenance team – whether in-house or outsourced – regularly review the operation of the cleansing and filtration system to ensure that it is being optimised and adjusted where needed, factors such as pressure drop, flow rate and liquid quality can be measured.

Again, this maintains the maximum working lifespan and efficiency of the cartridge and other parts, in the same way that smooth driving of a car will preserve the lifespan of its engine.

Regular servicing, cleaning, checking and replacing of parts within the broader water treatment system is also essential to ensure that stress isn’t being unduly placed on certain elements of the system where others are beginning to fail.

The field of water treatment and filtration can be complex, particularly in industrial applications, and this specialist area requires knowledge, experience, technology and the right service support to get right. When best practice processes are followed, however, equipment lifespan can be maintained to 100pc efficiency and the overall integrity of the system will be preserved for the best possible treatment outcome.