Seawater desalination is a “second order resource” designated to compensate for the depleting water levels in the aquifers. This positions Qatar in a state of “structurally-induced water abundance,” whereby it has a first-order resource scarcity and a second-order resource abundance. The QNFSP plans to utilize the latest advances in Reverse Osmosis (RO) and solar desalination technologies to meet most of the QNFSP’s agricultural water needs.
There are a number of ways to optimize the desalination potential, such as using industrial cooling water and re-use of industrial waste heat. RO has been demonstrated as a feasible desalination technology for Qatar. The power needed to run the RO systems is expected to originate from a Solar Park which is anticipated to be built in the south of the country. The obvious advantage of this solution is that little space will be taken up on the coastline, which would not be possible if MSF (Multi-Stage Flash) distillation was the choice of technology, as heat can easily be lost when transferred over long distances. The recovered waste heat from the industrial cities can also be utilized for desalination as a clean form of energy. It can either be used directly as steam for MED (Multi-Effect Distillation) plants or indirectly to generate electricity to power RO plants based on the qualitative analysis of the heat produced.
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