Desalination of seawater:
Drinking water production by desalination of seawater has become increasingly important in recent years and reached a world-wide total of about 19 million m³ per day in 2001. The main technical processes are MSF-distillation (market share of 66%) and Reverse Osmosis (22%) with facilities ranging from fully automated containers to industrial plants that produce water for both the public and private sector.
As desalination capacities continue to grow, the concern for environmental impacts of this activity is also increasing. Besides the emission of combustion gases that can be attributed to the high energy demand of desalination plants, major impacts may result from the waste discharges into the sea.