How Saudi Arabia’s Desalination Plants Cause Environmental Pollutions

Cleaning of water tanks in Saudi Arabia became essential after it was established that poorly maintained storage tanks were the causes of water contamination. Although desalination plants supplying the tap water in Saudi Arabia were cleared of the contamination issues, they represent a large part of the global desalting industry being criticized for their serious impacts on the environment and on climate change.

How do Desalination Plants Harm Seawater Environments?

Everyday, enormous quantities of seawater pass through desalination plants in parts of the world where there is a shortage of fresh, clean water. However, desalting or desalination processes normally involves the extraction of high concentrations of salt that become waste products. Plant wastes also include the thermal wastes produced by treatment units during seawater cleaning stage.

The question is where do these desalination wastes go?

Actually, such wastes return to the sea as pollutants that tend to increase the seawater salinity, which results to corollary increases in temperature and affect the water current Moreover, desalination pollutants cause turbidity, which refers to the murky, seemingly opaque appearance of seawater as a result of suspended pollutants.

Moreover, the salt and treatment wastes produced by desalination plants harm marine life inhabiting water environments. As the affected fish species migrate to other marine ecosystems in order to avoid the harmful effects of the pollutants, their departure from former habitats increases the presence of tiny molluscs and nematodes, as well as promote algae growth.

Some salt wastes also lead to discharges of toxic materials and micro-elements, which in most studies were found in the seawater environments of the Persian Gulf in Saudi Arabia. Actually most studies discussing the impacts of the liquid wastes and other seawater discharges are based on studies of Saudi desalination plants.

The main reason is that 60% of the water supply in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia come from desalination plants. The volume of desalinated water supplied by the country’s desalination plants account for around 50% of the global desalination capacity

Why Saudi Arabia’s Plans to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions are Not Feasible

As it is, the operation of such plants require greater amounts of energy during the different stages of desalting and treatment processes. While the country is the leading producer of fossil fuel oil, the amount of fuel used by the numerous desalting plants also result to large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

Although the government of Saudi has plans to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, making a commitment to do is far from feasible. After all, the nation’s water supply is largely dependent on seawater that undergoes desalting and treatment processes. That is why conversely, Saudi’s greenhouse gas emissions are expected to increase by 158% by 2030, the target year of the global commitment to solve climate change problems.

Since the continuous discharge of desalination wastes merely increases the amount of energy used to desalt and treat seawater, plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could include reducing the operational levels of the desalting and treatment units. If so, there is a likely possibility that the supply of desalinated water will eventually, still contain pollutants.

Cleaning of water tanks in Saudi Arabia became essential after it was established that poorly maintained storage tanks were the causes of water contamination. Although desalination plants supplying the tap water in Saudi Arabia were cleared of the contamination issues, they represent a large part of the global desalting industry being criticized for their serious impacts on the environment and on climate change.

 

<h3><strong>How do Desalination Plants Harm Seawater Environments?</strong></h3>

   

Everyday, enormous quantities of seawater pass through desalination plants in parts of the world where there is a shortage of fresh, clean water. However, desalting or desalination processes normally involves the extraction of high concentrations of salt that become waste products. Plant wastes also include the thermal wastes produced by treatment units during seawater cleaning stage. 

 

The question is where do these desalination wastes go?

 

Actually, such wastes return to the sea as pollutants that tend to increase the seawater salinity, which results to corollary increases in temperature and affect the water current Moreover, desalination pollutants cause turbidity, which refers to the murky, seemingly opaque appearance of seawater as a result of suspended pollutants.

 

Moreover, the salt and treatment wastes produced by desalination plants harm marine life inhabiting water environments. As the affected fish species migrate to other marine ecosystems in order to avoid the harmful effects of the pollutants,  their departure from former habitats increases the presence of tiny molluscs and nematodes, as well as promote algae growth. 

 

Some salt wastes also lead to discharges of toxic materials and micro-elements, which in most studies were found in the seawater environments of the Persian Gulf in Saudi Arabia.  Actually most studies discussing the impacts of the liquid wastes and other seawater discharges are based on studies of Saudi desalination plants. 

 

The main reason is that 60% of the water supply in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia come from desalination plants. The volume of desalinated water supplied by the country’s desalination plants account for around 50% of the global desalination capacity 

 

<h3><strong>Why Saudi Arabia’s Plans to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions are Not Feasible</strong></h3> 

 

As it is, the operation of such plants require greater amounts of energy during the different stages of desalting and treatment processes. While the country is the leading producer of fossil fuel oil, the amount of fuel used by the numerous desalting plants also result to large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Although the government of Saudi has plans to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, making a commitment to do is far from feasible. After all, the nation’s water supply is largely dependent on seawater that undergoes desalting and treatment processes. That is why conversely, Saudi’s greenhouse gas emissions are expected to increase by 158% by 2030. 

 

Since the continuous discharge of desalination wastes merely increases the amount of energy used to desalt and treat seawater, plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could include reducing the operational levels of the desalting and treatment units. If so, there is a likely possibility that the supply of desalinated water will eventually, still contain pollutants. 

It is also likely that many home owners and landlords of residential building will be constrained to regularly contract a water tank cleaning company. As an aside mention is made that one of the popular go-to tank cleaning companies in Jeddah is Wgsaada, which can be reached via this webpage.   https://www.wghsaada.com/cleaning-tanks-in-jeddah/        

It is also likely that many home owners and landlords of residential building will be constrained to regularly contract a water tank cleaning company. As an aside mention is made that one of the popular go-to tank cleaning companies in Jeddah is Wgsaada, which can be reached via this webpage. https://www.wghsaada.com/cleaning-tanks-in-jeddah/