The primary aim of this work is to assess the long-term sustainability of the desalination technology in alleviating the global freshwater crisis. The Canary Islands (Spain) have a well-established experience in desalination and the Island of Lanzarote -whose water supply is entirely dependent upon this technology-is taken as an illustrative case study. Analytical information obtained from the Material and Energy Flow Accounts of Lanzarote's desalination metabolism are fed into a model developed with the Vensim software to allow future trends, prediction and evaluate different scenarios. To conclude, the main environmental impacts of the desalination technology are addressed and some socially induced factors leading to unsustainable water management are briefly discussed. © 2006.
- Environmental impacts
- Seawater desalination