Israel has the largest desalination plant in the world, and much of the Middle East and northern Africa depends on desalination plants to provide a large part of their water supply. Monterey, California is hoping to switch to desalinated water as their main source. Trout in the Carmel River are threatened because too much water is removed from the river to provide for people. Desalinating water will hopefully save the trout.
Desalination is currently a costly and fuel-dependent process. One of the largest desalination plants in the world is located in the United Arab Emirates where desalination accounts for 40% of water sourcing, with groundwater accounting for the other 60%. Such a reliance on the fuel-heavy process is feasible in a country where oil and wealth is abundant, but environmental agencies have begun to criticize the country’s overconsumption of water and overuse of the process. Despite the inefficiency of the process, desalination plants have become important in places around the world where fresh water and rainfall is scarce. In Sand City, CA where the State of California clamped down on groundwater pumping, a small but sufficient desalination plant largely provides for the citizens, while in Australia, a new large desalination plant in the works will run completely off of renewable energy sources.
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