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Water Desalination Market Information Research Analysis Report by Technology (Membrane Technology, Thermal Technology), Application (Municipal, Industrial, Others), Water Source (Seawater, Brackish Water, Groundwater and Surface Water), and Region, Insights, Growth Drivers, Sales Outlook AND Forecast Till 2023-2030

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Water Desalination Market Snapshot

“The Global Water Desalination Market is expected to grow rapidly at a 8.56% CAGR consequently, it will grow from its existing size of from $22.1 billion in 2023 to $41 billion by 2030.”

Desalination, also referred to as desalting, is the process of removing salts dissolved in seawater and, in certain cases, from brackish (slightly salty) waters of the inland oceans and highly mined groundwaters (e.g. geothermal brines) and municipal wastewaters.

This makes inaccessible waters suitable to be used for use, irrigation industrial use and other applications. Desalination technology involves a significant volume of energy typically made up of oil and gas which is why the process is costly. Because of this, it is typically only used when fresh sources of water are not readily available. Furthermore, the quantity in green house gas emission in the form of greenhouse gas emissions brine water produced by desalination plants poses serious environmental issues.

Water Desalination Market | Market Report Service

Desalting seawater is a relic of the past. Aristotle explained an evaporation technique employed by Greek sailors in around the fourth century of BCE. A Arab writer from around the time of 8th century CE wrote an work about distillation. In the 19th century, the development of steam navigation resulted in the need for noncorroding drinking water to be used in boilers and the very first patent for a desalination method came into England during 1869.

In the same year, the first water distillation plant was established for the British government in Aden in order to provide water to ships that stopped in the Red Sea port. The first major still to supply water to commercial use was constructed in 1930 at Aruba near Venezuela. In the year 2019, more than 18,000 desalination plant that produced over 95 million cubic meters (in more than 3.4 billion cubic feet) of potable water each day were operational across the globe.

Desalination Plants Around the World

In 2022, there were more than 20000 desalination plants operating around the world that produce over 95 million cubic metres of water per day. In the Middle East continues to be an important source of desalination because of its water shortage and the technological advances within the industry.

The Sorek Desalination Plant located in Israel that began operation 2013 was one of the largest seawater reverse the osmosis (SWRO) desalination facilities. But the rapid growth in desalination technologies has resulted in the creation of larger plants across the world.

Desalination processes have progressed and improved its efficiency but the perceptions of the public are different. In countries like Israel there has been some concerns over the taste or possible health risks of desalinated drinking water.

However, studies and research such as ones of Saudi Arabia, show that if desalination has been done properly, the water that results is safe for drinking and is comparable to water from bottled bottles. One of the major environmental benefits of drinking desalinated tapwater over bottles is the decrease in the amount of the amount of plastic waste.

The idea of desalination on the go has witnessed developments. In recent times many portable desalination tools have become accessible, specifically designed for rescue, hiking or for personal use. These tools convert salty or polluted water sources to drinkable water. They offer new solutions for areas that have limited access to fresh water.

Desalination processes

Discover the science behind graphene membranes used to desalinate water.

Desalination methods may employ the thermal process (involving heat transfer and a phase shift) and membrane processes (using thin sheets made of synthesized semipermeable materials to isolate the salt from the water). Multistage Flash Distillation is a process that uses heat that allows the desalting of large quantities of seawater. Based on the idea that the boiling point of water decreases when the air pressure decreases and this procedure is executed by means of a series tanks (stages) which are set to gradually lower pressures.

As seawater is heated prior to entering in the initial stage a portion of it quickly boils (flashes) creating vapour which then condenses into fresh water by means of heat exchange tubes. Fresh water is then gathered in trays while the remaining seawater flows through another stage at which point it flashes as well before being carried on. One of the biggest in these processes, which is located within The Al-Jubayl, Saudi Arabia produces more than 750,000 in litres (200 million gallon) of desalinated water each day.

In smaller communities in which salinity and sun are abundant it is possible to use a simple thermal procedure known as sun humidification is possible. The heat from sunlight from the Sun is able to partially evaporate salt water in the cover of a transparent. On the lower part that covers the vapor is condensed and then flows into an aquint trough for collecting. The main issue with the process is that large surface areas are required and energy is required for the pumping of the water.

Another thermal process takes advantage from the reality that when salt water freezes, the crystals of ice crystals do not contain salt. In reality, however there are unacceptable amounts of salt water are trapped within crystals. Furthermore, the volume of clean water required to remove the salt water is similar to the amount of fresh water created through melting crystals.

Global production

In a lot of areas of the globe, especially in areas with high population density desalted water is often the primary source for municipal water sources. Desalination is utilized across more than 120 nations and approximately half of desalted water produced is found by regions like the Middle East and North Africa. The top three producer of water desalinated was Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates as well as Kuwait.

It is also worth noting that the United States is another important producer, accounting for around 13 percent of all produced (mostly concentrated in Florida, Texas, and California). The majority of desalination plants are reverse osmosis systems and multistage flash distillation as the second-ranked method.

In general, people typically can afford to pay around 7-10 times as much for water used for domestic use as they do for water used in agriculture. Desalination facilities that are large-scale will reduce the cost of desalinated water in desalination plants to a price that the majority of industries and some agricultural businesses can manage to afford. In the near future, it could be anticipated that the ocean will become a more important supply of water. If the production and transport costs are reduced enough, it could be possible to create fresh water to supply vast areas bordering the oceans across the world.

Demand Outlook

The increase in population across the globe industrialization, urbanization, and population growth have increased the demand of freshwater sources. In many regions, water scarcity especially in coastal and arid regions, is driving the market for water desalination equipment.

Desalination of water is a useful and feasible solution to convert brackish or seawater to freshwater. The improvement in living standards and the growth of population are expected to drive demand for safe drinking water that is potable. This will in turn boost the water desalination industry over the next couple of years.

Cost and technological improvements thanks to advancements in technology for desalination provides lucrative opportunities to market players. Businesses are working on increasing energy efficiency, reducing maintenance needs and reducing the operational cost of equipment for water desalination. These advancements can make desalination a financially feasible and attractive option for all over the world.

Key Takeaway

  • Membrane technology dominates the technology sector
  • Municipal is the most popular application segment.
  • Seawater is the dominant water source segment
  • The Middle East and Africa is the biggest shareholder in the global market

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Market Dynamics 

Growth Drivers

Depleting Freshwater Resources

Depleting freshwater resources is among of the biggest global problems that could seriously impact economic growth, the health of ecosystems and water security. Freshwater is an essential aspect of a healthy existence, yet according to the International Water Management Institute, 1.2 billion people do not have access to clean water. In the words of Wildlife Federation, two-thirds of the population of the world could be facing water shortages in 2025.

In addition, demand for water is projected to rise by 40 percent in 2030. Another reason for water shortage is the economics. Water scarcity due to economics is common across Africa particularly within sub-Saharan Africa.


Due to the increasing demand for water Recycling and reusing wastewater have been a growing trend over the last decade. Reusing wastewater decreases the environmental impact and volume of wastewater discharged and reduces the stress on ecosystems resulting from withdrawal of freshwater.

Recent years have seen a greater recognition of the challenges in the treatment of aquatic ecosystems and water shortages has brought back the interest of water desalination technologies. The stricter regulations, the higher costs for disposal of wastewater, and the rising value of freshwater are driving water desalination systems to become an effective or even an essential option for waste management, thereby driving market to expand.

Increasing Population and Rapid Urbanization

Urbanization refers to the growing proportion of urban populations. Over 50% of the world's population is located in cities and contributes more than 80% of the world's gross internal gross domestic product (GDP). Water pollution is now a important issue due to the rapid growth of economy, and the increasing speed of industrialization and urbanization. The increasing population of cities has a significant effect on the water quality. Additionally, the increasing quantity of industries releasing emissions will also create more opportunities for water desalination to improve water treatment. With the rise in urbanization as well as the growing public consciousness, the need for water desalination is likely to rise.


Membrane Fouling and Scaling

Demand to desalinate water is increasing due to the rising cost on water treatment and the increasing demand for clean drinking water. Additionally, RO is becoming increasingly popular for seawater desalination as well as the reclamation of wastewater. However, fouling and scaling are major issues, since the membranes' fouling negatively can affect the overall efficiency as well as the economics.

RO scales form when the dissolved components in the feedwater exceed their maximum level of solubility within the RO device. Saturation of the salts at the membrane's surface is the primary reason for the scaling of desalination plant. The fouling affects the membrane's flux as well as its life length, thus limiting the expansion of the market.


Hybrid Desalination Process

The hybrid desalination method combines several desalination methods to achieve the advantages of these methods. Certain hybrid systems incorporate methods that employ thermal distillation, membrane desalination or both techniques. Some hybrid systems produce electric power, which is a great complement to the production of pure water.

Furthermore hybrid systems are thought of as an economically viable alternatives to conventional systems since they are able to reduce pressure and stress in the form of fouling and scaling and energy consumption and the cost of desalinated water by enhancing the rate of recovery and overall quality of the water.

Today, applications of hybrid systems are being been developed and the use the systems resulted in the improvement of the efficiency of desalination plant through the improvement of brine and water product quality. Recent advancements in hybrid desalination technologies have created sustainable, environmental-friendly, cost-competitive, and socially impactful desalination methods. Additionally, advancements in desalination technology offer important opportunities for the market.

Water Desalination Market Segment Analysis

The market for water desalination in the world is divided into application, technology as well as water sources.

Based on the technology The global market is split in membrane technologies, thermal technology and various other renewable technologies.

Membrane-based Desalination is the method which results in salt separation that has no phase change and reduced energy consumption. It is usually thought to address water scarcity issues because of its high efficiency and lower energy consumption. Membranes and filters are able to selectively prevent or allow the activation of certain ions, and desalination techniques are being developed to exploit these capabilities. Additionally membranes play a crucial role in separating salts from the natural processes of dialysis and osmosis. The most common membrane technology is electrodialysis (ED) and electrodialysis reverse (EDR) reverse Osmosis (RO) as well as other.

Thermal treatment involves extreme temperatures during the process of waste feedstock. The most frequently referred to systems of thermal treatment include gasification incineration and Pyrolysis. Gasification is often viewed as in between pyrolysis and combustion since it involves the partial oxidation of the material. Incineration usually involves the combustion of raw, unprepared, or leftover MSW. As opposed to burning, pyrolysis involves thermal degradation that occurs in the absence of oxygen. The principal thermal technology used is Multistage Flash (MSF), Multiple Effect Distillation (MSD) as well as Mechanical Vapor Compression.

Based on the application on the market, it is split into industrial, municipal, and various others.

The municipal segment has the largest market share and is expected to expand at a rate of 9.10 percent over the forecast. It is believed to be the biggest segment based on the global market over the forecast time. The growing population has led to a higher demand for water treatment. The shortage in water sources has required greater water recycling and treatment services.

Additionally municipal wastewater is typically treated to meet the legal requirements for the discharge of it to waters of the environment. However, there is an increasing the use of wastewater reuse strategies. The major contaminants that must be removed from municipal wastewater, typically in order of importance include suspended organic matter, solids ammonia, nitrates and phosphate pathogenic bacteria, micropollutants.

Desalination of water systems has been extensively utilized in a variety of industrial wastewater treatment processes. Desalination is a way to reduce water supply limitations and enable the treatment of difficult wastewater across various industries like food and beverages gasoline and oil, paper and pulp and more. It is a technique used in various ways with efficient cost-effective, compact, and low-cost methods to handle water purification and separation needs. In the industrial industry water treatment is necessary in the event that contaminated water is used in the manufacturing process. The unsuitable substances could affect the quality of the product.

Based on the source of water The global market is divided into brackish, seawater water, groundwater, and surface water.

The seawater sector is the biggest market contributor and is expected to show an increase of 9.16 percent over the forecast time. The process of seawater desalination removes salt as well as other impurities to make pure water.

The most widely employed and economically accessible techniques to desalinate seawater can be divided into thermal and membrane. Desalination processes that use thermal typically utilize the use of heat to evaporate water, which leaves dissolved elements behind. The water vapor is stored as product water.

Furthermore membrane desalination processes utilize high pressure to push water molecules through tiny pores, while retaining salts as well as other larger molecules. Reverse the process of osmosis (RO) is one of the popular membrane desalination technique. As the desalination process has improved, techniques, seawater has emerged as an attractive source of water for dealing with the water shortage.

Brackish water has a salinity level that is between seawater and freshwater. It is formed when surface or ground water mixes with the seawater of deep fossil aquifers, and when salt dissolves due to accumulations of minerals in time as precipitation reaches into the aquifers. As water shortages increase the brackish water could be vital to several regions. In the case of total dissolved solids (TDS) between 1,500-20,000 mg/L desalination is a must.

Due to many reasons, brackish waters is desalinated to decrease the amount of amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) as well as salinity. The most innovative membrane treatment techniques employed to achieve this include ultrafiltration (UF) reverse the process of osmosis (RO). Since a number of brackish water sources are in the within the inland environment, consideration of brine management and minimizing of the impact on these plants is vital.

Competitive Landscape of the Water Desalination Market

  • Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction
  • IDE Technologies
  • Suez
  • CleanBay Renewables
  • Dow
  • Genesis Water Technologies
  • Aquatech International
  • Evoqua Water Technologies
  • Koch Separation Solutions
  • Siemens
  • Veolia
  • Abengoa

Recent Developments in Water Desalination Market

March 2023- Marubeni Corporation introduced a desalination and water transmission enterprise for Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile via a unique purpose company in which it invested alongside Transelec Holdings Rentas Limitada, a prominent Chilean power transmission company.

October 2022- Hubert Enviro Care Systems P Ltd received three orders for the Operation and Maintenance of Desalination Plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, totaling more than 50 crores.

In February 2023, SUEZ secured desalination project for an industrial customer with its partners and it carried out engineering, procurement, and construction plan with contract in place, for Wanhua Chemical Group’s Penglai sea water reserve osmosis desalination plant. It will be a 100 MLD seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant with the highest industrial standards. After being commissioned, the desalination plant will save more than 36 million m3 of freshwater per year.

In November 2022, IDE announced that it will construct Israel’s 7th large desalination plant, which is expected to produce 100 million cubic meters of water annually to improve the reliability of Israel’s water supply to Haifa, the Western Galilee and Upper Galilee regions. The water contribution from the Western Galilee plant will bring total production of desalination plants in Israel to nearly 900 million cubic meters per year. This water fulfills 85-90% of household and industrial water consumption.

Regional Insights

Based on the region The market for water desalination in the world is split in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.

The Middle East and Africa is the largest global market for water desalination and is projected to expand at highest CAGR percent during the forecast time. The shortage of water resources in the freshwater sector is the major driving factor in the region.

Additionally, the rising demand for cost-effective and energy efficient water desalination equipment is likely to drive demand for water desalination systems in regions like the Middle East and Africa. In addition, the increasing awareness of water pollution and the rapid growth of urbanization will boost demands for desalination equipment throughout the forecast time.

In addition, the current expansion of the sector of water desalination is expected to drive market to expand. A rising consumption of per capita water throughout the Middle East and Africa combined with a rising number of people due to increased population growth across the region is likely to boost the demand for water. In addition, the rise of tourism, especially located in areas in the Middle East region, is predicted to strain the resources of water. The above-mentioned causes are expected to increase the need for desalination of water in the coming years.

 The Asia-Pacific market for water desalination is primarily driven by rapid industrialization and urbanization in nations such as China, India, and Japan which have resulted in the demand for safe water and efficient wastewater treatment. Increased investments from the public sector to develop existing wastewater and water treatment systems can also result in the growth of the market.

Additionally, environmental issues and the lack of drinking water that is safe have led to the use of water desalination facilities across the region. Many initiatives taken by government bodies including the enactment of environmental protection laws in order to protect natural water resources as well as providing adequate sanitation facilities, are driving the market's growth. This is why the market is expected to grow at a steady pace over the next forecast period.

The expansion of the water desalination industry within North America is supported by the increasing investment in R&D to develop new technologies as well as the growing need for treatment systems within the region. The strongest economic growth is in North America is in the US and Canada as well as the growth of industries, and expansion of the company are driving the market for water desalination across North America.

With the anticipated industrial expansions in the world, the market is likely to grow rapidly in the coming years. However, the planned industrial projects have slowed because of economic contraction and the COVID-19 pandemic that will hit in 2020.

However, the industrial sector of North America is expected to come back and restore its position as a market player globally. Thus, due to an increase in sales of products throughout the region and the rising need for desalination of water will be expected to be a lot higher during the forecast time.

Europe is expected to see an increase in drilling and exploration and drilling activities for oil and gas and the creation of white development areas to market participants. The strict regulations governing how to treat and dispose of wastewater will continue to be the major driver behind the need to desalinate water.

The water that is produced by the gas and oil industry, the water generated typically contains hydrocarbon formulations as well as other hazardous chemicals. Furthermore water treatment systems specifically created for water released help keep the quality of treated water prior to being released or reused.

The Latin American water desalination market is currently experiencing a rapid expansion. The market is primarily driven by the rising consciousness of the importance of conserving the quality of water and preserving the natural resources. Additionally, the increasing investment in various programs for development across Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina are boosting the demand for goods.

For instance Brazil's Government of Brazil declared an investment of around USD 1.4 billion for sanitation projects as part of the "Time to Move Forward-Cities program in the year the year 2018. The government is also implementing rules for the management of municipal waste disposal as well as industrial discharges in water bodies that positively affect the growth of the market.

Segments Covered in the Water Desalination Market

Water Desalination Market By Technology

  • Membrane Technology
  • Thermal Technology
  • Other Renewable Technologies

Water Desalination Market By Applications

  • Municipal
  • Industrial
  • Others

Water Desalination Market By Water Source

  • Seawater
  • Brackish Water
  • Groundwater and Surface Water

Water Desalination Market By Regions

  • North America
  • Europe
  • APAC
  • Middle East and Africa

Frequently Asked Questions:

How big is the water desalination market?

The Global Water Desalination Market is expected to grow rapidly at a 8.56% CAGR consequently, it will grow from its existing size of from $22.1 billion in 2023 to $41 billion by 2030.

Which region has the largest share of the water desalination market?

Middle East and Africa region has the largest share of the water desalination market.

What are the upcoming trends in the water desalination market?

Hybrid desalination process is one of the key trends in water desalination market.

What are the key drivers for the growth of the water desalination market?

Depleting freshwater resources, increasing population and rapid urbanization are the key drivers for the growth of the water desalination market.

Who are the leading players in the water desalination market?

The key players in the global water desalination market include ACCIONA, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, IDE Technologies, Suez, CleanBay Renewables, Dow, Genesis Water Technologies, Aquatech International.