By 2050, water demand is projected to increase by 55% globally, meaning that the number of people impacted by water scarcity and stress will continue to rise. Importantly, more than 70% of global water use occurs in the food value chain. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population could be living in severe water stress conditions and developing countries will see the impact on human health and food production. To satisfy future water demand, we must augment traditional water supplies with brackish groundwater.
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Center for Inland Desalination Systems (CIDS) designed a zero discharge desalination (ZDD) technology that reduces water waste in the desalination process
How Does It Work?
Zero discharge desalination (ZDD) technology provides an order-of-magnitude reduction in the amount of water wasted in the desalination of groundwater by conventional processes. Electrodialysis metathesis uses a DC voltage to remove undesirable ions from water and strategically pairs them with other ions to produce a precipitate that can then be used by farmers for soil augmentation. UTEP plans to optimize their technology primarily by simplifying their operational process to include control set points.
The team plans to go to a single electrodialysis stack and to feed sodium chloride precipitated from their system back into the process, forming a closed loop. The team plans to work with local agriculture extension agents affiliated with the university to provide farmer outreach and to coordinate farmer training at the pilot test location in Honduras.