Seawater desalination is largely presented as a last resort to address water scarcity in closed basins. The question of whether seawater desalination can substitute for other costly measures, specifically large-scale diversion, has not been adequately assessed. To this end the full unit cost of supplying water to Beijing from the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, the largest in the world, is compared to desalination. Desalination appears to be much more cost-efficient than diversion, even when the diversion’s environmental externalities are excluded. By implementing desalination and water management options, China could substantially reduce water costs; this suggests that desalination should not be viewed only as a last resort.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||International Journal of Water Resources Development|
|State||Published - 2 Jan 2017|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- Seawater desalination
- inter-basin diversion
- supply cost
- water policy