The need for resource-saving, low-impact “green” desalination technologies is evident as the use of desalination accelerates in many parts of the world. The concept of “best available techniques” (BAT) aims at the identification of state of the art technologies, processes, or methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability for preventing or reducing pollution of the atmosphere, water and soil, as well as the quantities of waste, and for reducing the impact on the environment as a whole. This paper describes a general BAT approach for seawater desalination plants, focusing on the resource consumption of the different processes and methods of operation and their likely environmental impacts. The results may be a useful reference in the determination of individual BAT solutions on a case by case basis, taking site- and project-specific considerations into account, such as environmental regulations and local environmental conditions.

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