Renewable powered desalination in the coastal Mekong Delta
ASME 2010 4th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, ES 2010
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Global climate destabilization is exacerbating water problems in Vietnam, most acutely in the South and Central regions where most of the inhabited area lies in the low elevation coastal zone. Using a geographical information system (GIS) platform, a wind resources atlas developed by the Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program and the projected rural population available from Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network, this paper explores the potential for off-grid medium to small-scale reverse osmosis desalination powered by small wind turbines for the coastal fringe of Vietnam's Mekong Delta. The analysis estimated that in the absence of all other water supply facilities, off-grid wind desalination could provide clean water to 5.4 million rural residents living in 18.9 thousand km 2 of the Mekong Delta coastal provinces at the rate of 60 liters per capita per day. In addition to providing clean water, the use of wind powered desalination in the region would have educational benefits, combat poverty and unemployment, ease water-related conflicts, and has been shown to be improve environmental and agricultural sustainability. Thus this technology was found to represent a decentralized and community-based method to adapt to and mitigate climate change in the coastal fringe of the Mekong Delta. © 2010 by ASME.