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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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Examining the full cost of desalination

Desalination is one of the supply side options that decision makers should consider when balancing water supply and demand. Cost is a critical factor in deciding whether or not to pursue desalination, and the cost considered must be the cost of desalinated water delivered to the consumer’s tap. Too often only the capital cost and operation of the desalination plant, that is the supply cost, is considered without regards to the cost encountered to bringing the water to the consumer. Supply cost is only part of the overall cost of desalination.

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