Thursday, February 02, 2006

Solar energy may hold key to water shortage

ABU DHABI — International experts have called for the use of solar energy to resolve the problem of water shortage in the region.

Winding up a two-day seminar on Sustainable GCC Environment and Water Resoruces (EWR 2006), the experts underlined the need to chalk out strategies to address the acute water problem in the region as well as ways of protecting the environment.

The event was jointly organised by the Research Affairs department at UAE University and the Japan Cooperation Center for Petroleum (JCCP).

On the water issue, they said the region is rich in solar energy with high intensity so that solar desalination may be an ideal solution.

Solar distillation is the simplest desalination technique, compared to others such as multiple-effect distillation, multi-stage flash, reverse osmosis, electro-dialysis and biological treatment. A basin-type solar still is the most popular method of solar distillation but has undergone very little advances due to low distillate productivity and the difficulty of rapid and easy removal of salt accumulation in the basin.

More studies are needed to overcome design problems and efficiency, experts said adding, other techniques such as "tubular solar still" should be looked at. Source: Press Release

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