Desalination is any process that removes salts from a variety of sources, including: seawater, brackish (water that is saltier than fresh water), river, and brine (water that is nearly saturated with salt). With improvements in technology, desalination processes are becoming cost-competitive with other methods of producing usable water for our growing needs. Desalination of ocean water is common in the Middle East because of water scarcity, and is growing fast in the USA, North Africa, Spain, Australia and China. It is used also on ships, submarines and islands with limited sources of fresh water.
Over 40 years ago, John F. Kennedy stated:
"If we could ever competitively,
at a cheap rate, get fresh water from saltwater,....
(this) would be in the long range interests of humanity which would really
dwarf any other scientific accomplishment."
With limited freshwater supplies and technological advances in converting saltwater to freshwater, desalination is becoming a viable, and cost-effective water supply alternative for communities around the world and in the United States.