Resilience through Innovation & Sustainability
By 2025, more than 1.5 million people will live in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity. Greece is in 26th place on the list of water tested countries, a fact which, combined with climate change, brings closer the risk of desertification of 30% of the country in the coming decades. The low and irregular rainfall, combined with the increase in drinking water consumption during the tourist season more than triples the water needs, especially in island Greece, reinforcing the existing problem.
Only 2.5% of the world’s total water is fresh water and only 0.0007% is actually accessible for human consumption. Desalination is considered the most reliable process for dealing with the problem of water sufficiency and quality, especially in island Greece. Despite its undeniable role, it has negative effects on the marine environment by disposing of the discarded amount of brine in the marine ecosystem, where it is considered a heavy industrial waste. The incomplete data of the discarded amount of brine, as well as the exact number of operational and non-operating, desalination units in island Greece, creates a foggy landscape in relation to the correct formation of opinion regarding the real environmental footprint of desalination in our country.
Greece is able to produce more than 200,000 cubic meters of drinking, quality water daily. Especially for the islands, it is proposed to create small-scale desalination units using renewable energy sources, reducing the ecological footprint
RTIS is carrying out a program to assess the environmental impacts of desalination plants on the coastal marine environment and will develop standardized research and assessment procedures using appropriate biomarkers.