Desalination will affect the biodiversity of ocean life. The pipes used to intake the salt water from the ocean suck up millions of plankton, fish eggs, and fish larvae, which are all parts of the food chain in the ocean. Also, the salty residue left over from the desalination process is usually dumped back into the ocean which makes the salt levels in the ocean higher than usual. This, of course, affects the marine life and may even kill some of them.
Although scientists are working to try to resolve the environmental impacts of desalination on the ocean, they’ve achieved more related to energy efficiency than protecting the ocean. It is a true shame that this is the case because the harm caused to the ocean is immeasurable; the water we pump out includes microscopic members of the ecosystem, and the water pumped back in is chemically altered. Earlier this year, at the The Environment and Water Workshop in the UAE, it was proposed that a regulatory body be designated to monitor desalination efforts globally. Attendees discussed the need for environmental regulations and new methods aimed at reducing environmental toll on the ocean and air.
Hopefulness for a sustainable desalination process in the future is not lacking, but technologically we are not there yet.
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