Released during the IDA World Congress ‘state of desalination’ briefing held by the IDA and Global Water Intelligence (GWI), the report highlighted the recent growth in the desalination industry.

The total capacity of desalination plants now on line is 59.9 million m3/d daily which is a 6.6 million m3/d increase on last year. Seven hundred new plants were commissioned around the world during 2009, including the Shoaiba 3 project in Saudi Arabia which is the largest in the world at 880,000 m3/d. There are now 14,451 desalination plants on line with a further 244 plants with a capacity of 9.1 million m3/d are known to be under contract or in construction.

According to Lisa Henthorne, president of IDA, the world’s largest desalination plants, both on line and in the planning stages, are those seawater facilities located in the Middle East region.

Christopher Gasson, publisher of GWI and DesalData said: “Seawater desalination represents a $10 billion industry today. We forecast that it will be a $16 billion industry in 2020,”

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