Unfortunately, while most of it is covered by the ocean, only a small fraction of the planet's water—about 2.5 percent—is fresh water, and by 2030, supply shortages for drinking water needs are projected to exceed trillions of cubic meters. Desalination plants remove salt from seawater and help provide the fresh water that humans need. But desalination plants are one of the most expensive ways to generate drinking water because of the energy-intensive process of extracting large volumes of seawater and using high pressure to force the water through membranes.
A possible radical solution is to install desalination equipment on floating boats. Powered by nuclear reactors, the ships can sail to drought-affected banner design islands or coasts, bringing clean drinking water and electricity. Mikal Bøe, president of UK-based Core Power, the company that designs the desalination plants, said: "The boats are constantly moving around to fill people's tanks." It may sound whimsical, but the U.S. Navy has used nuclear-powered ships to provide desalination services during disasters in the past, and Russia already has a nuclear-powered ship with nuclear energy used to power desalination equipment.
There are currently about 20,000 desalination plants in the world, almost all of which are built on land. Most desalination plants are located in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and other countries with desalination plants include the United Kingdom, China, the United States, Brazil, South Africa and Australia. But some engineers say it would be cheaper to use these desalination techniques at sea, where it's easier to pump seawater. Engineers have dreamed of building a floating, nuclear-powered desalination system for decades. Nuclear desalination plant large design Nuclear-powered offshore desalination plant designed by Core Power | Photo Credit: Core Power / BBC News Core Power wants to use a vessel like a small oil tanker, with desalination technology installed on board, and a nuclear reactor on board to provide the huge amount of energy needed.