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Desalination Technologies - Global Market Trajectory & Analytics

  • ID: 2867343
  • Report
  • January 2021
  • Region: Global
  • 303 Pages
  • Global Industry Analysts, Inc

Fresh Water Scarcity Triggers a Desperate Search for Alternatives. Desalination Technologies to Reach US$24.6 Billion Amid Concerns Over Sustainability, Waste Brine Disposal & Carbon Emissions.

The global market for Desalination Technologies is projected to reach US$24.6 billion by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 9.8%, over the analysis period 2020 through 2027. Several factors over the decades have played a role in aggravating the shortage of water supply, which continuous to gain frightening proportions. These factors include globalization, rapid economic development, industrialization, urbanization, pollution, water contamination, continued subsidization and promotion of unsustainable agricultural methods including inefficient irrigation methods, growing popularity of water-guzzling bio-fuel farming, water abuse in industrial and manufacturing sectors, short-sighted water policies, poor water conservation (lack of water harvesting and water retention strategies), growing population, and climate change in the form of higher than normal environmental temperatures and the ensuing evaporation of surface and ground water. Groundwater withdrawals for industrial and agricultural use has been spiraling in sync with the rapid expansion of the manufacturing, energy industries and increase in acreage of arable land in response to food security concerns to feed a massively growing population. Ground water contamination is hitting a peak in developing countries, where over 70% of industrial waste is discharged untreated into water in addition to dumping over 90% of wastewater into water bodies without adequate treatment. 

Key factors contributing to water pollution include increasing effluent discharge by industries in developing and developed countries alike, dumping of untreated or partially treated sewage residential homes and commercial businesses into water bodies, fertilizers and pesticides from farming and other discharges from farmlands, washing of sediments from construction sites into water bodies, among others. In developing countries over 85% of wastewater is left untreated and is dumped into the water bodies such as lakes, rivers and coastal areas, thus jeopardizing food security, public health, and access to fresh potable drinking water. Industrial waste comprising of cadmium, arsenic, and bromides are hazardous to human health, and contamination of water with these toxins poses serious health issues. Furthermore, with the increasing use of fertilizers for boosting agricultural productivity, nitrate contamination of ground water and rivers is increasing. The level of Nitrate contamination projected to increase it by over 15% globally especially in India and Africa over the next 3 decades. Aging and decaying water infrastructures and transport pipelines especially in developed countries are resulting in increased water losses. Several regions including the United States are witnessing rapid depletion of water tables, and draining of high plains water. In the United States, water density in Lake Mead near Las Vegas declined by over 6 trillion gallons. The country on average uses 150 trillion gallons of fresh water a year while over 50% of rivers and lakes are being rendered unusable and unfit for human use as a result of pollution and contamination. 

Desalination is defined as the process of converting saline unusable water into fresh usable one, through extraction and removal of dissolved salts from available water sources in order to make it viable for human use. Desalination involves extensive filtration of relatively saline water through either distillation or membrane filtration for reclaiming usable fresh water from unusable saline, brackish as well as waste water sources. Desalination technology has evolved over the years, and the process of desalination is increasingly cost-effective and has emerged as a viable alternative means of sourcing fresh water in order to satisfy its burgeoning demand from different consumption sectors such as domestic, industrial and even to a lesser extent agriculture. With an average rainfall of just 20-40cm a year, the Middle-East is one of the driest places on the planet and is prone to extreme aridity. The region has always received scanty rainfall and thus has always suffered from absolute water scarcity. Despite the relatively high cost of desalinated water, the need to sustain human habitation has been the chief overriding factor contributing to the growth of water desalination technologies. Several major cities in the Middle-East almost entirely depend on desalinated seawater for their potable water supplies. The region is home to one of the world's largest research center "The Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC)". The center operates with the objective of R&D in desalination with the goal of reducing overall costs. Technologies being focused upon including Thermal Processes, Membrane Processes and Hybrid Desalination Processes, in addition to other Non-traditional and Alternative Processes. Middle-East accounts for more than 55% of the global installed desalination capacity, with Saudi-Arabia, UAE and the Persian Gulf states accounting for a major share. Saudi Arabia represents the single largest market for desalination technologies with almost half of its water requirements satisfied by desalinated water. The region accounts for about one-fifth of global desalinated water production, estimated at about 4 million cubic metres of desalinated water per day. The nation plans to triple the capacity of desalination production to 8.5 million cu m per day by 2025. 

Select Competitors (Total 63 Featured):

  • Abengoa SA
  • Aqualyng AS
  • Danfoss A/S
  • Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co Ltd
  • Dow Water & Process Solutions
  • Evoqua Water Technologies LLC
  • H2O Innovation
  • Hyflux Limited
  • IDE Technologies Ltd.
  • John Holland
  • Koch Membrane Systems, Inc.
  • Suez SA
  • Degrémont
  • Tianjin MOTIMO Membrane Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Toray Industries, Inc.
  • Toyobo Co., Ltd.
  • Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies SA
  • Sidem
  • Xylem, Inc.
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  • Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic and Looming Global Recession
  • Desalination: Technology Primer
  • Thermal Desalination
  • Membrane Desalination Technology
  • Water: The Essence of Life
  • World Water Resources: A Primer
  • EXHIBIT 1: World Water Resources: Percentage Breakdown by Water Quality
  • EXHIBIT 2: Global Water Consumption by End-Use Sector (in %)
  • EXHIBIT 3: World Fresh Water Resources: Percentage Breakdown by Sources of Fresh Water
  • EXHIBIT 4: Internal Water Resource Per Capita Ranked by Country - US, France, China, Germany, India, Netherlands and Saudi Arabia (in Cubic Meters)
  • EXHIBIT 5: Global Groundwater Resources by Region (In Cubic Kilometers)
  • Looming Global Water Crisis Unfolds an Opportunity for Desalination Technologies
  • The Middle East: The Largest Region for Desalination
  • Desalination by Reverse Osmosis: A Dominant Technology
  • EXHIBIT 6: Energy Required by Desalination Technology (in KWh/m3)
  • The Business Case for Water Desalination
  • EXHIBIT 7: Global Annual Desalination Capacity: 2000-2030 (in Million m3/d)
  • EXHIBIT 8: Global Installed Desalination Capacity by End-Use: 2017
  • Brackish Groundwater Desalination Grows in Demand
  • EXHIBIT 9: Global Installed Desalination Capacity by Source
  • Expensive Water Infrastructure Drives Interest in Desalination as an Attractive Alternative
  • Recent Market Activity



  • Technology Improvements Focus on Sustainability and Energy Efficiency
  • Continuous Improvements in Graphene-Based Membranes
  • Solvent Extraction Method: An Alternative Desalination Technology
  • Wave Powered Desalination Systems
  • Digital twin (DT) modelling Gains Spotlight Amid the Pandemic
  • Capacitive Deionization Technology for Desalination of Saltwater
  • Carbon Nanotubes Facilitate Efficient Desalination
  • ACCIONA Develops New Technologies for Desalination
  • Forward Osmosis Finds Increasing Interest
  • Researchers Develop Technology for Making RO Membranes with Controlled Thickness
  • Innovations in Brackish Water Desalination: Focus on Reducing Brine Production and Increasing Freshwater Recovery
  • Researchers Develop Economical Saltwater Desalination Process
  • Machine Learning Unleashes Promise in Energy Optimization in Desalination Processes
  • Environmental Concerns Drive Interest in Renewable Energy Based Desalination
  • Solar Desalination to Gain from Increasing Investments in Solar Energy
  • EXHIBIT 10: Top 10 Countries Worldwide by Cumulative PV Installed Capacity in GW (2019)
  • Solar-Thermal Desalination: Harnessing Solar Energy for Desalination
  • Developments in Renewable Energy Storage to Drive Wind Energy Based Desalination
  • Nuclear Desalination on Rise Despite Concerns over Safety of Nuclear Power
  • Continuous Technology Evolution to Drive Down Prices of Desalination Technologies
  • Co-Generation Strategies to Reduce Desalination Costs
  • Nanotechnology Enabled Innovations to Support Market Growth
  • Hybrid Desalination Plants: An Explored Area
  • Growing Interest in Hydroponic Agriculture to Drive Adoption of Desalination
  • EXHIBIT 11: Global Hydroponics Market in US$ Million: 2016-2024
  • Key Issues Facing Desalination Technologies Market
  • Engineering Challenges
  • Environmental Concerns
  • Threat to Aquatic Life
  • Increased Salinity Levels
  • Increased Water Temperature
  • Lowering of Oxygen Content in Water
  • Green House Emissions
  • Water Contamination
  • Heavy Metal Contamination
  • Other Challenges Impeding Growth
  • Macro Growth Drivers
  • Economic Activity in Water Scarce Regions Drives Growth
  • Surging Population Spurs Interest in Water Desalination
  • EXHIBIT 12: World Population (in Thousands) by Geographic Region for the Years 2019, 2030, 2050, 2100
  • Rapid Urbanization Aggravates Water Woes & Powers Demand for Desalination
  • EXHIBIT 13: World Urban Population in Thousands: 1950-2050P
  • EXHIBIT 14: Degree of Urbanization Worldwide: Urban Population as a % of Total Population by Geographic Region for the Years 1950, 1970, 1990, 2018, 2030 and 2050
  • Rising Affluence Primes Desalination Market for Growth
  • Rapid Growth in Power Generation Offers Ample Opportunity for Growth
  • EXHIBIT 15: World Fresh water Withdrawals for Power Generation - Percentage Breakdown by Amount of Water Withdrawn for Power Plant Cooling by Leading Economies
  • Increasing Manufacturing Activity Spurs Interest in Desalination



  • Shrinking Water Resources, Prolonged Drought Drive Demand for Brackish Water Desalination
  • EXHIBIT 16: US Desalination Market Breakdown (in %) by Source of Feedwater for Desalination: 2020E
  • Regulations Related to Desalination
  • Market Analytics
  • Market Overview
  • Market Analytics
  • Market Overview
  • Market Analytics
  • India: A Promising Desalination Market
  • EXHIBIT 17: Desalination Market in India: Percentage Breakdown of Source of Feedwater for Desalination for 2020E
  • Market Analytics
  • Desalination: A Mainstream Water Treatment Technology
  • EXHIBIT 18: Water Consumption in GCC: Percentage Breakdown of Water Supply by Source for 2020E
  • EXHIBIT 19: Desalinated Water Production Volume in GCC by Select Countries (in Million Cubic Meters per Year)
  • Market Analytics
  • IRAN
  • Market Overview
  • Market Analytics
  • Market Overview
  • EXHIBIT 20: Select Water Desalination Projects in the UAE: Production Capacity in Cubic Meters of Desalinated Water Per Day
  • Market Analytics
  • Egypt: Market Overview
  • Market Analytics
  • Market Overview
  • Market Analytics


  • Total Companies Profiled: 168
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