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ESCWA Water Development Report 3

Role of Desalination in Addressing Water Scarcity

image of ESCWA Water Development Report 3
There is a growing concern among the international community that a pending water crisis is threatening the entire global population, not only those living in arid to semi-arid areas. This Report, the second in the series of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR), gives and overview of the water resources in the ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) region based on the most recent data and information obtained from member countries. The state of water resources in the region is analyzed and assessed on the basis of data and indicators selected from available information and within the context of integrated water resources management (IWRM). The Report provides a comprehensive summary of the current situation of water resources in each member country in term of availability, accessibility and sustainability.

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Desalination capacity and future prospects

Desalination has been practised on a large scale for more than 50 years in the ESCWA region. During this time, there have been continual improvements in desalination technology, and the most commonly used technologies are now mature, efficient and reliable. Desalination represents the largest source of non-conventional water for ESCWA member countries, especially where renewable freshwater is extremely limited. Population growth, socioeconomic development and climate change have led to an increase in water demand, and desalination constitutes one way for countries to bridge the gap between water demand and supply.

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