Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has approved to set up a desalination project with a capacity of 200 MLD in Mumbai.The project will entail an investment of Rs 1,600 crore. The project will be set up over 30 acre at Manori, Malad, and is expected to be completed in four years. After tapping about six possible locations, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finalised Manori for setting up the project.The capacity of the plant can be raised to 400 MLD in the future, which can make up for the shortfall of 10 percent of the total water consumption of the city of 3,800 MLD when there is poor rainfall.
The detailed project report will be prepared in around nine months and take another three months to complete the tendering process.The actual completion of the project will need around three more years. The site has been finalised by the technical team as it has no mangroves around it, good quality of water and connected by roads, among other reasonsBMC had tapped five other locations, including Versova, Gorai, Malad, among others for the project. The project will help to make up the shortfall of potable water in summer due to the late arrival of monsoon or shortfall in expected water stock. The operational cost of the project will reduce significantly if operated on solar power.The operational cost of the desalination plant is higher than the dam-based water-supply projects and has been one of
the reasons behind the delay to the project, which has been planned for years. BMC expects it to be 50% more than its existing system of dam-based water supply.
Desalination is a process that takes away mineral components from saline water. More generally, desalination refers to the removal of salts and minerals from a target substance,as in soil desalination, which is an issue for agriculture.
Saltwater (especially sea water) is desalinated to produce water suitable for human consumption or irrigation. The by-product of the desalination process is brine. Desalination is used on many seagoing ships and submarines. Most of the modern interest in desalination is focused on cost-effective provision of fresh water for human use. Along with recycled wastewater, it is one of the few rainfall-independent water sources.
There are approximately 16,000 operational desalination plants, located across 177 countries, which generate an estimated 95 million m3/day of freshwater.Currently, desalination accounts for about one percent of the world’s drinking water.Desalination is particularly prevalent in countries located in the Middle East and North Africa region, such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait.Desalination is also an important source of water in the Small Island Developing States.
Due to its energy consumption, desalinating sea water is generally more costly than fresh water from surface water or groundwater, water recycling and water conservation. However, these alternatives are not always available and depletion of reserves is a critical problem worldwide. Desalination processes are usually driven by either thermal (in the case of distillation) or electrical (in the case of reverse osmosis) as the primary energy types.
Currently, approximately 1% of the world's population is dependent on desalinated water to meet daily needs, but the UN expects that 14% of the world's population will encounter water scarcity by 2025.Desalination is particularly relevant in dry countries such as Australia, which traditionally have relied on collecting rainfall behind dams for water.
Kuwait produces a higher proportion of its water through desalination than any other country, totaling 100% of its water use.