Desalination: from salt to fresh water

After the hot summers of previous years, there is a risk that water scarcity becomes a water shortage. Seawater desalination may offer a solution. Inge Genné, manager of the programme ‘Water Management & Technology’ at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), gives us more insight.

“The pressure on our freshwater reserves has led to a clear sense of urgency. This has created a dynamic and broad support for jointly seeking innovative solutions across domain boundaries."

"It is important to take all functions and users of water into consideration. At VITO, we collaborate with the Flanders Environment Agency (VMM), De Watergroep, Aquafin and De Vlaamse Waterweg NV on the identification of paths towards innovation.”

The sea is a potential source of water for people and the environment. “Desalination consumes a huge amount of energy, but it is not unfeasible. That is why it is only interesting if we can combine it with other industries such as wind and solar energy."

"The desalination process also needs to be integrated into the spatial context: onshore or offshore? Do we create a large central installation or a network of smaller desalination installations? What about the storage and transport of the desalinated water?  What about the brine?"

inge genne over ontzilting op strand

Many questions remain unanswered. At Blue Cluster, we are working on two feasibility studies to develop strategic pilot projects regarding seawater desalination.”

Read more about the domain Renewable Energy and Fresh Water Production.

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