Keywords: desalination costing methods, costing software, cost trends, technology development, seawater desalination, desalination tehcnologies, desalinated water costs
Review and evaluation of desalination cost and costing methodologies
Recently, desalination is becoming a viable alternative for supplying potable water due to new developments in desalination technologies. At present, the cost of desalinated water is about US$0.5/m³ by RO and US$ 1.0/m³ by thermal processes. But these costs are location dependent. Thus the selection of an appropriate desalination technology for any location needs a reliable and accurate costing methodology. Better costing methodologies are also required for optimal process design and economical operation of desalination plants. There are so many costing methodologies reported in the literature with varying accuracy and details. Most of the publicly available costing methodologies are either black-box type with less details of costing methodology, or use thumb rules that do not sufficiently account local conditions. Therefore, there is a need to develop a more reliable and accurate costing methodology for public use. In this paper, desalinated water costs and costing methodologies with respect to accuracy and reliability are reviewed.