Salinity solutions: from ‘waste disposal’ to ‘resource recovery


Courtesy of Geo-Processors USA, Inc.

Saline impaired water is a ubiquitous feature of the Australian landscape and the need for innovative technologies to deal with this issue is now a priority. The ‘waste disposal’ paradigm needs to change to ‘resource recovery’ especially with environmental and legislative requirements which limit the scope, cost efficiency and sustainability of conventional saline water management practices. This paper provides an overview of the challenges and the opportunities for sustainable management of large volumes of saline impaired waters. Selected case studies and the outcomes of recent trials of innovative zero discharge processes on various saline streams are provided to illustrate the advantages of technology based solutions over conventional practices. The key advantage is the productive use of saline water as a resource, while achieving zero discharge outcomes. Associated benefits include smaller environmental footprint, increased water recovery and the opportunity to sell valuable by-products to offset the operation costs.

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