Coastal Reservoir-a Technology that May Dominate Future Water Supply

Coastal Reservoir-a Technology that May Dominate Future Water Supply
Coastal Reservoir-a Technology that May Dominate Future Water Supply
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New large dam construction is a worldwide problem due to its negative impacts on the ecosystem, and as a result, it is crucial to investigate the future water supply infrastructures. After comparison with the existing solutions for water supply, such as inland reservoirs, desalination plants and wastewater reuse facilities, we conclude that coastal reservoir will be the dominant solution in the future because: a) increasing numbers of people migrate towards coastal/deltaic regions and more megacities are emerging along the coastline; consequently the water shortage on the coastline is the most severe; b) the future water deficit is huge (about 10 times the flow of the Nile river), with no solution other than the implementations of coastal reservoirs, freshwater reservoirs in the seawater to develop runoff from rivers, able to provide so much water. Now the world only uses 1/6 of total runoff, with the remaining 5/6 of runoff lost to the sea; c) all solutions for water supply have significant impacts on the environment, and only the strategy of using coastal reservoirs is sustainable, as it is without brine as a by-productor high carbon emissions. This paper discusses the supply of water to Beijing and Tianjin, the most notorious region in the world for its thirst. It is found that the water shortage problem in the region can be solved, the efficiency of South-North Water Diversion Project can be improved significantly, and carbon emission can be reduced in the region if this new solution is applied.
Keywords:  Coastal Reservoir; Inland Reservoir; Water Supply; South-North Water Diversion Project
Author:  Shu-Qing Yang1
1.School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Wollongong, Australia
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