• 2014-12-24
  • Benito García

Technological development in recent years occurred has increased significantly in the generation efficiency of desalinated water as well as water treatment for recovery and reuse of water flows.

Despite the continued rise in energy costs and more specifically the electric bill, has been a barrier to entry in the development and use of facilities at the expense of the parallel improvement of technological capability and progress of water engineering .

The Government in Spain admitted that the electricity bill increased by 71% in the last decade (El Confidencial, 09/18/2013), but the February 2014 reform introduced corrections according to consumer organization OCU, affects unevenly consumers and "hits who consume little" (Pú, 2014/02/03).

Therefore and again, it's not a question of how much to invest and the cost of maintenance and consumption to treat water, but the urgent need there is to do and the more favorable environment that is emerging right now after the moderation in energy costs.

This deterrent aspect overcome the disproportionate increase corrected now with more favorable approach is precursor of a turning point in the panorama of water, which adds to the also expected improvement in funding opportunities and low interest rates. Note that the Euribor is at its lowest level ever since 2014/05/06, when it was set at the rate of 0.150% (

But what the reasons for that is so compelling need water in the so-called dry Spain and especially in the Mediterranean area, are solidly grounded in severely suffer the consequences of climate change.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, "Climate change, with increasing temperature and in Spain, decreased precipitation cause a decrease in water yields and increased demand for irrigation systems' (

As the Commission points out, "This vulnerability is due to situations of permanent water scarcity, the deterioration of its already increased demands for water quality by increasing populations, the further development of tourism and growth in water demands for the irrigation " (

The fact that the Spanish Mediterranean coast, which has suffered from chronic drought, is precisely the area which in turn is the most densely populated area of Spain, the fate of a large part of the more than 60 million tourists given that receive annually, according to the Institute of Tourism Studies (IET) under the Ministry of Industry, and the territory it occupies our intensive agriculture and highly developed, which provides fruit and vegetables to much of Europe.

Therefore the appearance of desalination as progressive and again to ensure sustainable water supply, alternative unfolds timeously to agencies, authorities, businesses and the public, as a fundamental tool to take action and with sufficient advance for the essential achievement of increased availability of water resources at an affordable price.

Faced with a dwindling rainfall, with increasing temperature and insolation and therefore the evaporation, we have to stop living back to the sea and put our eyes on him as an inexhaustible resource that extends incomprehensible to future us, but also in the treatment of water and used existing in the subsoil, which is not so obvious.

The inventory uses and demands of groundwater, as well as services related to water, be established according to the RD. 907/2007 on the Regulation of Water Planning, which powers the Ministry of Environment are derived, but also to de Fomento (see

However, to realize the miracle of desalination or treatment of aquifers is no easy task, since we must be very adept at combining a compendium of disciplines, equipment, membranes, pumps, filters and so on, through the appropriate mix of designs, materials, parts and components to ensure durability and reliability at an aggressive-corrosive medium such as the saturated brine and other products of sodium chloride, which as you know oxidized stainless.

It is partly for desalination and partly for the treatment of water for irrigation and other industrial and urban uses, so in Spain we are world leaders in this branch of knowledge, having come a long period of time since it opened in 1964 the first desalination plant in Lanzarote (, existing today about a thousand of these plants, with a production of 1.2 million m3 per day, according to the Spanish Association of desalination and Reuse (AEDYR).

Whatever desalination technology is used, energy costs always involve between 50 and 75% of actual operating costs, so the possible increase of desalination is very directly linked to the real cost are billed for energy (

Furthermore, the reduction in the cost of desalinated water will not only facilitate its expansion, it can be a catalyst for a big technological leap in the development of these processes. In Spain the forecast increase in desalination short and medium term, with works currently under construction and those of next run, rise by over 400 hm3 per year currently produced the figure, as shown in the White Paper Water (see 

The facet of desalination is one among several polyhedron water treatment, which requires a double trigger, first to the full capacity of existing facilities and other future facilities to be planned so that they can come. That is why we have to perform a real treatment of respect to the water, in the sense given to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language: 2nd person for treatment of civility and respect, and to respect the water and treated politely, will dispose of it and live an easier life.

Benito Garcia.

Quality Engineering RLM.