Many regions around the world are facing chronic water shortages and desalination is one of the options being considered by governments to address the problem.

Advances in technology mean that processes for removing salt and other minerals from saline water are becoming more efficient and less expensive, offering a sustainable and economical alternative to conventional water treatment.

India, for example, is among the most water stressed countries and industry demand for process water is increasing. According to a new report from TechSci Research, growing government emphasis on economic development and the rising contribution of the manufacturing sector in India mean that freshwater demand for use in industrial applications is projected to rise to about 52 billion cubic meters by 2025. Over the same period, the falling water table means that per capita water availability in the country is expected to decrease to about 1,500 cubic meters in 2025, from 1,545 cubic meters in 2011.

These factors are serving to widen the demand-supply gap and leading the government as well as industry players to shift their focus towards desalination.

India's desalination plant market is dominated by the industrial sector, followed by the municipal sector. At present there are 183 desalination plants operating in India, primarily in the western and southern states of the country.

Over the next few years the market is expected to show strong growth. TechSci Research predicts that the desalination plant market in India will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 19%, in terms of installed capacity, in 2014-19.