What technologies are used?

Desalination uses either thermal or membrane technologies. Membrane desal has grown rapidly since 2003, and despite expectations of decline, thermal desal also continues to grow.

Installed membrane and thermal capacity, 1980-2009

Installed membrane and thermal capacity, 1980-2010 (cumulative) - DesalData.com

Membrane technologies include: reverse osmosis (RO), electrodeionisation (EDI), and electrodialysis (ED).

Thermal technologies include: multiple-effect distillation (MED), and multi-stage flash evaporation (MSF).

Total worldwide installed capacity by technology

Total worldwide installed capacity by technology - DesalData.com

Where does desalinated water go?