May desalination contribute to adaptation measures to climate change?

Marseille, 7 June 2018 (Side-event at the 5-8 June ASTEE Congress)


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This one-day seminar is a contribution to debates about desalination from sea or brackish water. It embraces energetic, economic, environmental and social aspects. Reflections have to be based on desalination use feedback, mainly on Mediterranean countries. It addresses sector and cost issues as well as energetic, environmental and social impacts at different levels. Prospective approaches are highly welcome.

Sea and brackish water desalination, largely used in The Global South, is a technical adaptation tool to be considered. A valuable pro and con assessment of this technology must be based on analyses of related controversies and on a clear understanding of its technical, economic, social and environmental implications.

This one-day seminar aims to further knowledge elements and lay bases for prospective reflections with a special emphasis on Mediterranean countries.

Context: Reflective process of the Consortium Working Group on Adaptation to Tensions around Water Generated by Global Changes.

Since 2009, SHF, AFEID, Académie de l’Eau (Water Academy) and ASTEE have analysed prospective approaches deployed to portray water management in relation with global changes. (see more).



Paper proposals must be sent, in French or in English, as two-page abstracts.

Submission deadline: 30 October 2017 at SHF headquarters website using the template   Submission postponed to November 30th

Paper selection: December 2017

Relevant topics are:

  • Feedback on implementation and operation of sea or brackish water desalination plants in different regions of the world.
  • Technological and economic aspects: cost evolution, technological breakthroughs able to change desalination economics, impacts on water uses (domestic water supply, agriculture, industry, and so on), impacts on water prices, etc.
  • Energetic aspects: assessment of global energetic efficiency of existing plants, energy mix, impacts on energy consumption and energy transition, assessment of GHG emissions linked to desalination, etc.
  • Environmental aspects: impacts of brine dumping on the marine environment, implemented solutions, etc.
  • Societal aspects: desalination and water demand, desalination and water sharing, desalination and water pricing, desalination and waterscapes (ranges of relations between water resources and uses, financial circuits …), etc.
  • Socio-technical and environmental controversies.
  • Prospective approaches, mainly in the Mediterranean region: desalination and littoralisation, desalination and irrigation or industrial development, etc.

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