The Paris Climate Agreement seeks to reduce global carbon emissions. The nearly 200 countries who signed it have pledged to reduce their own emissions within their borders. And therein lies the rub: the agreement says nothing about the impact their products have across the world. For some countries, the problem is not so much the emissions they produce; it is those they export.
The Persian Gulf along with the Red and Mediterranean seas are getting saltier all the time because of the waste products of desalination. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman account for 45% of the world’s desalination capacity. And the byproduct of desalination is brine, which is twice as salty as seawater. Even advanced desalination plants produce two cubic meters of waste brine for every one cubic meter of clean water.
According to a report from the International Food Policy Research Institute, more than half the world’s population will be at risk of water shortages by 2050 if current trends continue. As the climate continues to change, severe droughts are becoming increasingly commonplace.
Water is a simple chemical compound containing two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom connected by covalent bonds. It covers 71% of Earth’s surface and is vital for all forms of life. Despite its abundance, water that is safe for drinking is globally in short supply.