Critical review of desalination in Spain: a resource for the future?

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Title: Critical review of desalination in Spain: a resource for the future?
Authors: Morote Seguido, Álvaro Francisco | Rico, Antonio | Moltó Mantero, Enrique
Research Group/s: Agua y Territorio | Clima y Ordenación del Territorio | Paisajes y Recursos Naturales en España
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Análisis Geográfico Regional y Geografía Física | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Interuniversitario de Geografía
Keywords: Water resources | Desalination | Urban growth | Drought | Water demand | Spain
Knowledge Area: Análisis Geográfico Regional
Issue Date: Nov-2017
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Geographical Research. 2017, 55(4): 412-423. doi:10.1111/1745-5871.12232
Abstract: There have been significant territorial changes in the Spanish Mediterranean in the last few decades because of the important growth of residential tourism functions. The Spanish National Hydrological Plan (2001) and, to a greater extent, the Action for Management and Use of Water Programme (2004) advocated large-scale desalination of seawater to guarantee a supply for urban, tourism, and even future agricultural demands. The paralysis of urban development planning caused by the financial crisis (2007/08), together with the downward trend in the consumption of drinking water in the last decade, highlighted a capacity to produce desalinated water that was far superior to actual needs. This study reviews the current context in which desalinated water is produced in Spain, weighs up the advantages and disadvantages of this method of water management, and considers the potential role that this non-conventional source of water could play as a strategic resource in the future. The main findings of the study are that desalination is not a panacea; rather, it should be considered in terms of technological parameters tailored to the circumstances of each geographical and socioeconomic environment.
Sponsor: The results presented in this article are part of two research studies. The first, entitled ‘Uses and management of nonconventional water resources in the coast of Valencia and Murcia as an adaptation strategy to drought’, is funded by the Spanish MINECO under grant number CSO2015-65182-C2-2-P, and a PhD research scholarship funded by Spanish Ministry of Education.
ISSN: 1745-5863 (Print) | 1745-5871 (Online)
DOI: 10.1111/1745-5871.12232
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2017 Institute of Australian Geographers
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - CyOT - Artículos de Revistas
INV - Paisajes y Recursos Naturales en España - Artículos de Revistas
INV - Agua y Territorio - Artículos de Revistas

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