Sometimes, these places might have access to sea water, which can't be consumed in its original form, but through a process called desalinization, it can be made safe to drink and use for things like cooking.
This is not the first time we covered desalinization technology on Green Start-Up, as we wrote about the efforts of MIT researchers to develop a 4 USD solar-powered desalinization device, which can generate drinkable water.
Also, with the help of a Teflon-like material, students at the University of Tokyo created a desalinization system that can also help vulnerable people get easier access to clean water.
Around 16.000 desalinization plants in the world are producing some 35 trillion tons of freshwater per year, as reported by The Conversation.
Jordan is a country located north of the Red Sea and it plans to develop a new plant to increase its desalinization capacity from four billion liters per year to a staggering 350 billion.
Still, desalinization is a fairly energy-intensive process which also tends to leave saline wastewater behind, which can damage ecosystems if it finds its way back into the seas or oceans.
Protecting the ecosystems, a critical mission
Managing salt levels in the Red Sea is important, as the large body of water doesn't have an inflow of freshwater from rivers and its only water source is the Indian Ocean to the south, with which it communicates through a narrow and shallow strait.
Thus, higher salinity levels could also pose a danger for the Indian Ocean and its fauna.
Between southern and northern Red Sea, salinity levels vary from 38.6 practical salinity units to as high as 40.6 and multiple ecosystems have adapted to live in such specific environments.
Generally speaking, marine life can adapt to small changes in salinity, but any significant change poses a threat to both fauna and flora.
One species of coral, for example, in the Red Sea, might see a drop of 50% in photosynthesis and respiration if salinity levels grow from 38 psu to 40 psu.
Researchers considered two possible scenarios, one where around ten trillion liters of water from the Red Sea would be desalinized by 2050 and one which implies the desalinization of almost two trillion liters of water by the same timeframe.
Theoretical results show that in either scenario, seawater salinity would only grow by less than 0.1%, a value which scientists say its nearly undetectable by marine life.
Countries in the Middle East are interested in desalinization, as Saudi Arabia is one that plans the construction of The Line, a project which will accommodate some 9 million people and water intensive businesses, like farming.
Should it be built, the city could be finished by 2045 and it will depend heavily on desalinized water from the Red Sea.
Environmental regulations and careful plant planning should mean that the environment won't suffer.
One potential solution is that desalinized water should be dispersed back into the deeper layers of the Red Sea, which will help diluting the brine. Afterwards, it will be carried by the currents back into the Indian Ocean, which will further dissolve it.
If they will be carefully planned, desalinization plants, alongside with other technologies that generate freshwater, could bring drinkable water to more people that would otherwise not have access to it.