Environmental impacts and impact mitigation plans for desalination facilities

Bombar G., Dölgen D., Alpaslan M. N.

DESALINATION AND WATER TREATMENT, vol.57, no.25, pp.11528-11539, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 57 Issue: 25
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/19443994.2015.1089198
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.11528-11539
  • Keywords: Desalination, Environmental impact assessment, Environmental management plan, Mitigation measures, BRINE DISCHARGE, DISPOSAL, SYSTEMS, POWER
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


A number of sea water desalination technologies have been developed during the last several decades. Although these techniques are promising options for freshwater augmentation in coastal establishments and islands, they may have certain impacts to the environment. To safeguard a sustainable use of desalination technology, the impacts of the desalination facility should be identified and mitigated by means of an environmental impact assessment study as well as by environmental management plans (EMPs). The EMP should include tables answering questions like who is responsible from what and when and, which precautions will be taken and where these precautions should be implemented. This study aims to analyze the potential environmental impacts of desalination plants and propose measures mitigating their negative impacts. In the article, components of a desalination system, i.e. open intake, pretreatment, membrane desalination system, outfall with diffuser, and transfer pipeline, are identified as first. Waste disposal, air quality, noise, traffic, flora and fauna, water quality, and visual amenity are listed as principal issues affected from both construction works and operation. Finally, measures in order to prevent or minimize those adverse effects to acceptable levels are assessed.