Ryuichi FUKUHARA 1, Masahiro MURAKAMI 1 and Muhammad R. SHATANAWI 2,
1 Kochi University of Technology, Department of Infrastructural Systems Engineering 185 Miyanokuchi, Tosayamada-cho, Kami-gun, Kochi, 782-8501, Japan
2 The University of Jordan, Faculty of Agriculture, P.O.Box 13042, Amman 11942, Jordan
Increasing demand for water has shifted attention in the last three decades to the role of desalination that has become a key to close the gap between water demand and supply in waterscarce but resource-rich region. Water supply by desalinated water is gradually prevailing among other countries caused by decline of the production cost. Consequently, the installed capacity of desalination in the world is predicted to double by 2025, which means that 2 % of fresh water supply in the world will rely on desalination technology.
However, further desalination enhancement is still controversial. Proponents insist that desalination already have been a mature technology and its cost will continue to decline down to affordable prices for anyone, and emphasizes that it can enlarge the resource pie, that is “it is only a realistic solution”. Opponents respond that the facile expansion of desalination will lead to unacceptable consumption of fossil energy with regards to global warming; also a myriad of non-structural methods to alleviate water shortages such as existing water resources sharing, changing uses’ behaviors would remains unimplemented. Both seem to be reasonable, also both are not discussing the whole picture of this matter. No wonder that desalination differs from traditional water systems. It has advantages in water cooperation which are inherently lack in conventional water resources, also has disadvantage which have to be managed carefully. What is important is to clarify different characteristics of desalination in terms of integrated water management. It is time to determine how to use desalination technology wisely from now on.