In the last years, the extensive usage of drinking water and the climate change caused a shortage of drinking water in many regions of the world. In costal areas, e.g. in Southern Europe and on many Mediterranean islands the groundwater is already contaminated by the intrusion of seawater. At the same time, precipitation in many areas is decreasing while the demand of drinking water is increasing. Even nowadays, a couple of islands get their water supply already by tank ships. The global population development and the tourism industry will intensify this problem in the future. Therefore, the production of drinking water from renewable fresh water sources is becoming more and more difficult.
Desalination of sea or brackish water is necessary to assure the water supply of many areas. Common desalination technologies like reverse osmosis and usual thermal desalination techniques are energy intensive and require high amounts of fossil fuels with the additional disadvantage of high CO2 emissions. The costs for desalination are continuously rising due to the shortage of natural resources.