The Impact of Seawater Desalination on the Marine Environment Posters

Nurit Kress, Ilana Berman-Frank, Nadine Heck

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Freshwater is a rare commodity. More than a third of the world’s population lives in areas with water shortages that are vulnerable to drought. The increasing need for potable water, in conjunction with technological advances, has transformed large scale seawater desalination into a fast-growing industry worldwide. In contrast to the rapid technological development, the long-term environmental impacts of desalination on the marine ecosystem have been poorly documented. Among the possible effects are entrainment and impingement of organisms at the intake, changes in the physico-chemical environment at the brine outfall (including chemicals used in the desalination process), and shifts in the biological communities. The scant published studies emphasize the effects of salinity on the benthic communities and those are site- and organism specific and provide conflicting results.
We invite abstracts that explore the impacts of seawater desalination on the physical, chemical, biological, and ecological aspects of the marine environment. We welcome a range of presentations covering in situ field measurements, controlled laboratory studies and modelling of seawater intake and brine discharge. Of special interest are studies integrating the different methodologies into a holistic view, an approach that is lacking in the literature, and is essential for future planning and regulation.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 24 Feb 2016


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