Global green group seeks to carve carbon emissions out of desalination

The Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance - H₂0 minus CO₂ initiative, launched at the current climate talks in Paris, has called on its 17-nation membership to use clean energy to power new desalination plants. The call was part of the alliance’s aim to tackle the water-energy nexus and climate change.

The alliance aims to find ways to reduce the projected increase in carbon dioxide emissions from desalination by as much as 270 tonnes a year by 2040. It has urged its members to improve the energy efficiency of desalination, upgrade existing plant, increase research and development and demonstration projects, step up the dissemination of innovative technologies, increase capacity building and analysis, and to draw up strong policies and regulatory frameworks.

The alliance includes a founder group of more than 80 signatories from government and the public and private sectors. Industries, research institutions, universities and other organizations from Australia, Belgium, China, Comoros, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, the UK, the US have already joined.

Secretary general of the International Desalination Association (IDA), Patricia A Burke, said the IDA – a founding member of the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance – included reducing emissions in desalination as “a goal of IDA’s Energy and Environmental Task Forces, and we believe that the alliance’s initiative will bring us ever-closer to realizing this objective.”

“Access to water of the populations of the South and many other areas even in industrialized countries will be secured in the future due to renewable energy and innovation,” said president of France’s Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables Jean Louis Bal.