India will have more than 500 desalination plants by 2017 in a market sector that is growing at 22%, according to a recently published market research report.

Indian Water Desalination Plants Market Forecast & Opportunities 2017, published by TechSci Research, states that India currently has 182 desalination plants operating in different parts of the country.

Membrane technologies are considered 23% cheaper for generating desalinated water when compared with thermal technologies, which is why 85% of plants in India are membrane-based, the report says. Support from central government and some states has contributed enormously in increasing demand for desalinated water in India.

Two states are picked for special mention in the report:

  • Gujarat – Once considered a water-scarce state, but, due to state government initiatives, the state now has the highest desalinated water generation capacity in the country.
  • Tamil Nadu – State government support again has enabled the state to have the second highest desalinated water capacity in the country, contributing 24% to total desalinated water output in India.