The Real Cost of Desalination Technology

Desalination technology has been lauded in recent years for its ability to convert  saltwater into clean freshwater. On the other hand, it’s been criticized by environmental organizations and activists who claim that the desalination process creates waste products that are detrimental to natural ecosystems. 

If you work in the ag industry and are concerned about the current state of our freshwater supply, you’re likely also curious about the benefits and costs of desalination technology. Can desalination help you maintain a secure water supply and keep your farm running? Is it worth the cost? Should you look into farm mortgage financing so that you can invest in desalination technology for your farm? Here’s what you need to know. 

What Is Desalination?

As was briefly mentioned in the introduction, desalination is a mechanical process by which the mineral content is removed from saltwater to produce freshwater for drinking, agriculture, or other commercial purposes. Although humans have been desalinating water for thousands of years (mainly by a simple boiling process), it’s only been in the past few decades that specialized desalination factories have been developed and widely used.

What Are the Environmental Consequences of Desalination?

All of the salt content that’s removed during the desalination process does not simply evaporate – it aggregates into a substance called hyper-saline, otherwise known as brine. And brine, it turns out, is seriously toxic to the environment. Brine is typically dumped in huge quantities into oceans, where it sinks to the seafloor and creates serious imbalances in the salt and oxygen content of neighboring marine ecosystems.

Is It Worth it for Farmers?

Only you can decide what the best option is for your farm. Desalination technology may be able to help you maintain your water supply. But it also has severe consequences for the environment. However, there are desalination alternatives that are worth looking into as well. But at the end of the day, the decision is up to you. 

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At the end of the day, the world’s future water security rests in the hands of independent farmers. Contact one of our loan officers today to learn more about how farm mortgage refinancing can protect your small farming operation!