Even though the 2020s have started off with an unprecedented heightening of awareness
and activism regarding global environmental issues, no-one can change the inviable laws of
supply and demand.
In the MENA region, demand for fresh water is increasing while supplies dwindle at an alarming rate. While the numbers are not encouraging, there are changes, opportunities and advancements
in the MENA desalination industry that provide hope for a sea-change in the region’s water security prospects.
- Saudi Arabia and the UAE now use desalination to supply over 50% of their national water needs
- Saudi Arabia and the UAE are world leaders in attracting, supporting and leveraging desalination technology
- Through technological innovation, the cost of producing desalinated water has fallen to below $0.50 per cubic metre – in the 1960s it cost over $10 per cubic metre
- Energy costs of producing desalinated water have also fallen from highs of 7-8 kwh per cubic metre to current averages of 2.5-3 kwh. This makes desalination sustainable from an energy perspective, especially when powered via renewables
- MENA will add an estimated 20GW of solar capacity and 5-6GW of wind by 2025
- The global desalination market is predicted to grow from $17.7 billion in 2020 to $32.1 billion by 2027
- 48% of the world’s water desalination projects are taking place in the MENA region, pushing investments to a predicted $4.3 billion by 2022