Towards sustainable policy in water-energy nexus in Saudi Arabia: Solar energy technology for seawater and brackish water desalination
El Fadil Adam
An assessment of various water energy nexus interconnections is discussed.
Energy requirements for different the desalination technologies are presented.
Environmental impacts of seawater desalination are highlighted.
Benefits of employing solar energy in desalination are explained.
Sustainable policy scenarios to resolve water and energy challenges are proposed.
Water and energy resources are deeply linked in intimate ways, interlaced, and interconnected. Historically they were treated independently and there have been inadequate attention to the challenges. All processes of water extraction, treatment, distribution, and disposal consume energy, while oil extraction, refining and electricity production require water. This interdependency is predominantly indicated as water-energy nexus. The lack of energy availability and freshwater supply are considered the major challenges facing the 21st century. Accordingly, seeking for alternative freshwater and energy resources is considered a top policy priority. Desalination became viable solution to address water scarcity; however it is an energy intensive process. The objectives of the present work are to study the integration of solar energy into desalination to assist in addressing energy concerns and the global environmental problems resulted from the use of fossil fuels. Also among the aims of the study is to propose sustainable policy scenarios to mitigate water and energy use. The study reviews the latest developments in desalination technologies. It discusses challenges, opportunities, environmental impacts, and policy trends relevant to different production processes. The research results advance the concept of water-energy nexus by examining various water-energy interconnections, highlights potential areas of stress, and policy actions to be taken to bring mutual benefits across water and energy sectors. Towards the end, the study concludes the promising opportunities in terms of global carbon emission mitigation and sets recommendations for policy makers. Also the study explores opportunities and proposes sustainable methods that could have an impact on the future water-energy policy. The study recommends considering explicitly the relationship between decision making, policy institutions, and the water energy nexus to ensure adequate water and energy sustainability.
To cite this article: Adam E. Towards sustainable policy in water-energy nexus in Saudi Arabia: Solar energy technology for seawater and brackish water desalination. Journal of Desalination and Water Purification 2020;18:10-23.