Q:

What are the pros and cons of desalination?

A:

Quick Answer

The pros of desalination are increased clean drinking water and the preservation of freshwater supplies, which are limited. The cons of desalination are the high energy costs of the process, the relatively high capital cost of desalination plants, and the potential environmental damage of the brine created during desalination.

Know More

Full Answer

Desalination is the process of removing salt and other substances from salt or brackish water to create high-quality drinkable water . Although the surface of the Earth is more than 70 percent water-covered, more than 96 percent of this water is saline, or salt water. Reverse osmosis is a proven method to draw clean water, drinkable or usable for growing crops, from salt water.

Although desalination is considered expensive compared to groundwater or rain water, during periods of drought, the costs are considered more reasonable. As of 2014, the energy required for desalination is about 2 kilowatt hours per cubic meter of water, and desalination plants meet this energy need with fossil fuel. Desalination plants also produce pollution in the form of brine, concentrated waste that has up to twice as much salt content as sea water and may contain chemicals such as chlorine and the anti-scaling and anti-caking agents used in the process. Experts argue, however, that desalination plants may be less damaging on the environment than long pipelines or large-scale dams.

Learn more about Sustainability

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some pros and cons of selective breeding?

    A:

    Selective breeding allows the breeder to select traits which they find desirable and mate their stock so that the trait becomes more common with each generation. A side effect of selective breeding is that often undesirable traits are overlooked when pursuing only one specific characteristic.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the pros and cons of technology?

    A:

    Technology is a powerful teaching aid that allows anyone with an Internet connection to access a wealth of information. It has increased communication and connectivity all over the world and has created a thriving new industry that provides employment for millions of people. However, technology also enables cheating among students, creates new types of crime and exposes vulnerabilities for exploitation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some pros and cons of plant cloning?

    A:

    The pros of plant cloning are: it reproduces disease-resistant plants, speeds up reproduction in plants, and reproduces plants with high nutritional value. The cons of plant cloning are: it is expensive, it requires special skills, reproduces genetically identical plants, and plants reproduced through cloning have a short lifespan.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the pros and cons of legal separation?

    A:

    There are financial and non-financial pros and cons of legal separation according to divorce expert Cathy Meyer and legal writer Michelle Fabio. A legal separation gives both spouses the ability to live separately without losing the financial and social benefits of a married couple.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore