New desalination capacity rises by 16 per cent
Desalination capacity of 3.7 million m3/d was added globally in the year to June 30, 2016, representing a 16 per cent rise on 3.2 million m3/d of new capacity added the previous year.
The 29th Worldwide Desalting Inventory, published by GWI DesalData in association with the International Desalination Association (IDA), shows that seawater desalination accounted for 1.6 million m3/d of the new capacity, or 43 per cent; brackish water and other feedwater was 2.1 million m3/d, or 57 per cent. Growth in the capacity of seawater desal was 14 per cent year-on-year, and brackish and other feedwater capacity rose by 17 per cent.
The cumulative installed capacity at the world's estimated 18,983 live desalination plants is 88.6 million m3/d, including plants under construction that are expected to complete by the end of 2016. Of this, 73 per cent is membrane desalination, and 27 per cent thermal.
Cumulative, global contracted capacity as of June 30, 2016, was 95.6 million m3/d. The proportion of membrane to thermal desalination contracted has shifted over the past 16 years. In the years 2000 to 2009, membrane accounted for 75 per cent of contracted capacity, and thermal 25 per cent. From 2010 to 2014, it was 88 per cent membrane and 12 per cent thermal; and in the year to June 30, 2016, membrane was 93 per cent of contracted capacity, and thermal 7 per cent.
Of the 7 per cent thermal capacity contracted in the year, 73 per cent is multi-stage flash, and 27 per cent is multiple-effect distillation.