Proposal for EU 7th Framework

Environmental Impacts of Desalination on the Mediterranean Sea





IPCRI will form a consortium of environmental NGOs and Environmental Academic Research centers from each country on the Mediterranean (except for Libya). There will be one Environmental NGO and one environmental academic research center.


Main Focus of the Project


Limiting the potential environmental hazards of desalination by the countries on the Mediterranean Sea.


Underlying Assumptions



Main Aspects of the Proposed work


  1. Baseline data – creating a baseline of water quality data for all countries around the Mediterranean. In each location the local research organization and NGO will have to investigate exactly what chemicals are being used in their local desalination plants. If there are no desalination plants yet functioning, a list of variables will be provided by the consortium. In any case, all baseline data should be composed of monitoring all of the chemicals that are used in desalination all around the Mediterranean. Some of those chemicals include:

    1. Salinity

    2. Iron oxide

    3. Anti-foaming substances

    4. Anti-corrosives

    5. Solvents such as Hexane, Xylene, l,l,l trichloroethane , Carbon tetrachloride

    6. Other acids used in desalination


  1. Monthly monitoring – the baseline data will then be used as a starting point for monthly Mediterranean sea water quality


  2. Legislation investigation – what legislation exists in each of the countries around the Mediterranean regarding preservation of the quality of the Mediterranean sea water especially regarding desalination? This aspect of the project will involve a comparative review of all relevant legislation and then proposals for harmonization and upgrading of legislation to guarantee the good quality of Mediterranean sea water especially taking desalination into account.


  3. Alternative non-polluting solutions for desalination – this aspect of the project will engage research and development laboratories around the Mediterranean to propose more effective and less poisonous ways to deal with the brine and the chemical solvents that are being used and dumped back into the Mediterranean


  4. Environmental Awareness regarding desalination - this aspect of the project will aim to focus more public attention around the Mediterranean on the negative environmental impacts of desalination


  5. Quality and treatment of desalinated water – this aspect of the program involves aspects of public health. Desalinated water is not healthy for human consumption without replacing some of the minerals and salts that are removed in the desalination process. This aspect of the program will document the standards being used in the different countries of the Mediterranean for preparing desalinated water to their citizens. The end result of this part of the program should be to create a standard that will be used by all countries of the Mediterranean.


  6. Biodiversity