Desalination is one way to increase freshwater supplies worldwide. Here are some facts from the US Geological Survey to put desalination into perspective:
Saline water comes in a variety of concentrations, depending on the dissolved salt content. The cost of desalination is based on how much salt is present.
Water is considered freshwater if salt accounts for less than 1,000 parts per million (ppm) by weight.
Ocean water is the most saline and contains around 35,000 ppm of salt.
An estimated 30% of the world’s irrigated land experiences salinity problems.
The International Desalination Association reports that in June 2015 there were over 18,000 desalination plants worldwide. They produced 86.8 million cubic meters of water daily for 300 million people.
Middle Eastern countries (particularly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain) use about 70% of the world’s desalinated water. North African countries (mainly Libya and Algeria) use an additional 6%.
California and Florida are considered the “most important” users of desalinated water in the United States.
— Source: US Geological Survey