Inderscience Publishers

Drinking water in Cuba and seawater desalination

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The lack of drinking water has become a problem at world level because, in many places, supplies are very limited and, in other places, their reserves have been drained. At the present time there are estimated to be around two thousand million people that don't have drinking water for several reasons, such as drought, contamination and the presence of saline waters not suitable for human consumption. Because of the human need for water, they have always taken residence in areas where the supply was guaranteed, sometimes impeding the exploitation of other areas that can be economically very interesting. However, this resource is usually very close and in abundance in the form of seawater but its salinity makes it unusable for many basic requirements. Humanity has been forced, therefore, to take into consideration the possibilities of the economic treatment of seawater. Cuba has regions where the supplies of drinking water are scarce and others where the lack of this resource limits economic exploitation. The present work is approached with regard to the situation of hydro resources in Cuba, it includes: a description of the main hydrographic basins of the country; the contamination levels of the waters and the measures for mitigation; analysis of the supplies and demand for drinking water and its quality; regulatory aspects. The state of seawater desalination in Cuba is also included and the possibility of its realisation using nuclear energy and the advantages that this would bring is evaluated.

Keywords: drinking water, seawater desalination

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