Middle Eastern Countries Use 70% Of the World's Desalinated Water

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


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