Off-grid desalination for irrigation in the Jordan Valley


Groundwater resources in many regions of the world are becoming increasingly depleted and salinized. With many aquifers straddling political boundaries, on-going depletion presents both a flash-point for conflict and an opportunity for cooperation. A salient example is that of transboundary groundwater resources in the Jordan Valley. These are shared among Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian residents. Here we describe a collaborative project aiming to develop a desalination system for use by Palestinian farmers in the West Bank. Students have collaborated across borders in a programme of training and research, in which they have constructed desalination prototypes. These are based on a simple but efficient batch-reverse osmosis (RO) technology that incorporates energy recovery and brine recirculation to achieve 70%–76% recovery and specific energy consumption <1.3 kWh/m 3. The technology can be solar powered with minimal PV footprint. Being built almost entirely from off-the-shelf parts, the system is readily implemented with levels of engineering expertise available in many areas of the world. To test and upscale the technology, and to propagate the knowledge about it, it is being trialled at centres in the UK, Israel and soon in Palestine. It is concluded that the project demonstrates a valuable approach in regions facing transboundary groundwater challenges, and that further learning resources should be developed for free access to foster collaboration across borders.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Engineering and Technology > Mechanical, Biomedical & Design
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Sustainable environment research group
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Desalination Publications. This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Batch-RO,Groundwater,High recovery,Regional cooperation,Solar PV,Transboundary resources,Water Science and Technology,Ocean Engineering,Pollution
Publication ISSN: 1944-3986
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 07:25
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2019 07:27
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.desw ... 68_2019_143.pdf (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-11-15
Accepted Date: 2019-06-14
Authors: Abu Ali, Hala
Baronian, Margaret
Burlace, Liam
Davies, Philip A
Halasah, Suleiman
Hind, Monther
Hossain, Abul (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-8713-8058)
Lipchin, Clive
Majali, Areen
Mark, Maya
Naughton, Tim



Version: Accepted Version

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License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial

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