Accession Number:



Applicability of Desalination Systems to Drought Relief Applications

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Special Report]

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Congress tasked the Navy to write a report on desalinization technologys application for defense and national security purposes to provide drought relief to areas impacted by sharp declines in water resources. This is a challenging request due to natural ambiguity in common terms such as desalinization technology, sharp decline, and even drought. The general answer is desalination is absolutely applicable to drought relief applications. Fresh water is required for nearly all human endeavors including drinking, hygiene, agriculture, and many industrial processes. As such, if a saline water source is the best available during a contingency, then desalination is fundamentally required. However, there are numerous desalination technologies, each with pros, cons, different suitability. The appropriate water treatment system for a contingency will depend on numerous factors such as source water availability and composition, desired output quantity, desired product water quality, anticipated length of operation, urgency of need, available infrastructure, available logistics support, available personnel, local security considerations, and local regulatory considerations. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center EXWC evaluated the feasibility of deploying portable desalination systems for contingency response applications at naval installations around the world, and the results are extensible to civil water contingencies.

Subject Categories:

  • Water Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]