Assessing the environmental impacts of seawater desalination on the hypersalinity of Arabian/Persian Gulf

Anton Purnama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Seawater desalination is the main and reliable source of water supply for the Arabian/Persian Gulf surrounding countries to sustain and allow the continuing long-term socioeconomic development. Building more desalination plants and/or increasing water production rates of the existing plants appears to be the answer to satisfy the soaring projected future water demands. Of all the world's multinational bodies of water, the Gulf itself is a uniquely small scale, almost semi-enclosed marginal sea. Due to the arid nature of its bordering lands, its water is naturally characterized by higher temperature and salinity, leading to hypersaline conditions as a consequence of solar heating through an extremely high evaporation rate. Therefore, the additional abstraction of water by desalination plants operated along its shallow coastline and returned brine discharge through marine outfalls could result in further increase to the Gulf's salinity. The effects of intense desalination activity on salinity within the Gulf are evaluated using an analytical model for a semi-enclosed sea of simple geometry, where the role of natural evaporation and river discharge at the head of the Gulf is highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Arabian Seas
Subtitle of host publicationBiodiversity, Environmental Challenges and Conservation Measures
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030515065
ISBN (Print)9783030515058
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Evaporation
  • Mathematical model
  • Salinity
  • Semi-enclosed sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this