The History of Water Desalination Technology
Water desalination (or desalting) is the process in which dissolved salts are removed from seawater and, in many instances, brackish waters of mineralized ground waters, inland seas, and municipal wastewaters. To put it simply, the process renders what would otherwise be useless waters fit for industrial applications, irrigation, and human consumption.
The thought of creating pure water from saltwater has tantalized humans for hundreds, if not, thousands of years. In fact, it dates back to Greek sailors of the fourth century BCE and possibly even earlier. Because of advances in technology, water desalination technology and equipment has evolved since its first introduction. It’s now available using two distinct methods: thermal processes or membrane processes. Unfortunately, many existing desalination technologies require excessive amounts of energy to operate, making the process costly. Though expensive, water desalination is necessary, as it affords people access to fresh water that would otherwise be unavailable.