It's this seawater surrounding Korea's southern coast
that's being turned into fresh, drinkable water. [ ]
Korea now has its very first desalination plant built and ready to go, for full operation starting in January.
Located in the southern port city of Busan the 175-million U.S. dollar plant can pump in about 100-thousand tons of water per day from the ocean, remove the salt, and turn it into 45-thousand tons of fresh water -- enough for about 150-thousand residents in the city.
This high-tech facility was built by Korea's very own Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction -- currently the number one leader in the desalination plant market.
"Our company has been building these plants and working on desalination technology for about 40 years now. / We built this one to help expand our overseas market and prepare for future water shortages."
The purified water has been certified as "safe to drink" by the Busan Water Authority, and the cost for consumers will be the same as fresh water from other sources.
So is Korea facing a water shortage?
Well, not right now but potentially, yes.
According to a recent UN report, by the year 2030 nearly half of the global population will face water shortages, due to demand exceeding water supply.
"The world is headed towards water shortages. / Desalination plants are one way to fight water scarcity, and in the past two to three years, the number of these plants has grown ten-fold."
There are currently more than 16-thousand desalination plants worldwide and in the face of water scarcity, the number is expected to increase in the years to come.
Connie Lee, Arirang News, Busan.