The future overall trends of desalination cost are estimated using least-square fitting method based on Excel, and four major impact factors, named technology, feed water, energy sources and capacity, are discussed and prospected. Five different types of desalination technology are presented and bench-marked for long-term use. RO and MSF are dominant technologies. Six different input water sources are used. There is no significant change in the sources distribution during the past 20 years. Wastewater should be more important. Three different energy supplies are reviewed: conventional fossil based energy, nuclear energy and renewable energy sources. Large capacity has obvious cost advantage over the small one for the same technology. At present, the cost of desalination using a conventional source of energy is lowest. In this paper, statistical analysis points indicates a total production cost of less than US 0.5 $/m3 in 2020. This will probably continue to drop due to effects of scale and reach US 0.35 $/m3 after year 2020. Wastewater is less costly to desalinate, approximately US 0.3 $/m3 from the year 2015. Brackish water will reach US 0.2 $/m3 at year 2015. China water and desalination projects were discussed compared to the global production and cost estimation from different points. In china, the open discussion is preferred as the result of this study in order to reduce the price and impact of desalination.
desalination, cost estimation, technology, feed water, energy, capacity
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