Every Drop of Water is Indispensable in Times of Water Scarcity: Is There an Optimal Ratio of Reclaimed Water to Desalinated Water?

2021-11-24

CSR@CW interviewed Professor Huang Chih-pin, Director of the Environmental Technology & Smart System Research Center, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU). Professor Huang was invited to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of reclaimed and desalinated water as emerging water resources and provide suggestions for Taiwan’s water policies. The development of reclaimed water and desalinated water treatment technology should be equally emphasized.

The quality levels of reclaimed and desalinated water can differ. When it comes to water, people exhibit varying preferences and levels of trust. Desalination plants produce the best quality water that can be consumed as drinking water. However, the unit price of desalinated water is high (NT$28–30 per m3). Advanced processing is suitable for producing industrial water, whereas reclaimed water is more suitable for less significant use at factories given that reclaimed water can be produced in greater volume (>200,000 cubic meter per day) and at lower prices. These two types of water have their respective applications and advantages; price should not be the sole deciding factor. For example, desalinated and reclaimed water contributes equally to NEWater in Singapore. With respect to China’s use of emerging water resources, the ratio of desalinated water to reclaimed water is 6:4. Countries and regions generally develop both of these water treatment technologies because desalinated water can compensate for reclaimed water shortage. In addition, to prevent marine resource wastage, the Environmental Technology & Smart System Research Center/Water Technology Alliance also helps producers implement brine conversion in desalination plants with the aim of extracting high-purity magnesium, which has high economic value. This measure can also reduce the cost of desalination operations, the mineral content in discharged brine, and the burden on the ecological environment.

 

For more details, please refer to https://csr.cw.com.tw/article/41908

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