Inland Desalination

Drought and population growth have
both contributed to water scarcity in
many inland areas of the United States,
especially the Southwest. This has focused attention
on inland desalination of subsurface brackish waters
and wastewaters. Inland desalination will differ
from seawater desalination because the byproduct
brine (concentrate) produced during reverse osmosis
treatment cannot be disposed of in the ocean.
Moreover, inland brackish waters and wastewaters
differ in composition from seawater, the former
being dominated by calcium, carbonate and sulfate
rather than sodium and chloride. Concentrate
management for inland desalination will have to
address basic salinity and sustainability issues, while
smaller plant size and water pumping costs may lead
to increased expenses for inland desalination plants.