Belgium in Brief: Desalinating seawater?

Belgium in Brief: Desalinating seawater?
Credit: Belga

In the coastal municipality of Nieuwpoort, Belgian companies will soon draw water from the sea to create clean drinking water.

While the technology to do this already exists, Belgian start-up HydroVolta is the only company in the world to have made the process cheaper and more ecological on a larger scale.

“Now, we are looking towards brackish and salt water. The sea is a kind of infinite reserve in long dry periods like this summer,” an innovation manager at the Farys water company said.

The project, in collaboration with three water companies, seeks to generate an extra four million cubic metres of water. Desalination is usually an energy-intensive and expensive process, limiting its practical applications.

But as climate change becomes an increasingly urgent problem, the utility of these projects is only expected to increase. In Dubai and Israel, water desalination is already happening on a large scale: Dubai draws around 90% of its water from desalination plants and Israel is aiming to reach the same target by 2023.

As Belgium is suffering from high levels of water stress and droughts – which are increasing in frequency – the drinking water situation in the country has become significantly more unstable. Additional volumes of clean drinking water would help Belgium during the tough, dry summer months.

What do you think? Will we all be drinking seawater soon? Let @Maatjee know.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

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