Calculating the environmental cost of seawater desalination in the Arabian marginal seas

Anton Purnama*, Hamdi H. Al-Barwani, Ronald Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Seawater desalination in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea is the reliable source of water supply to the population of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. If desalination plants were to operate along the coasts of these arid climate semi-enclosed Arabian marginal seas, then the additional loss of water and returned brine waste due to the plant's water production would increase the salinity. A mathematical model is presented to calculate the impact of desalination plants on the salinity within a semi-enclosed sea of simple geometry. Due to the exponential sensitivity to the plant's location and its water production capacity, the effect of seawater desalination at the northern Arabian Gulf or Red Sea is found to be more severe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - May 22 2005


  • Arabian Gulf
  • Mathematical model
  • Red Sea
  • Seawater desalination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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