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Call for abstracts: Harmful Algal Blooms and Desalination Conference

In many arid regions, countries are increasingly reliant on seawater desalination to supply drinking water for rapidly growing coastal populations. There are currently more than 14,000 desalination plants in more than 150 countries worldwide. An emerging threat to the desalination industry is from harmful algal blooms (HABs, commonly called red tides). High biomass HABs can restrict flow in desalination plants by clogging filters, but other impacts include fouling of surfaces due to dissolved organic materials that can also compromise the integrity of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes.

Recognition of potential problems that HABs may pose to desalination is new and has, so far, largely been speculative. Toxic blooms in the vicinity of desalination plants are often unrecognized events, and plant operators are generally unaware of the threat that algal toxins pose. As a result, no measurements of marine algal toxins before and after desalination have been made at any large-scale desalination plant.

The Harmful Algal Blooms and Desalination Conference taking place in Muscat, Oman, on 16-17 April will bring together scientists, engineers, managers, and government officials.


Experts are invited to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations on the following topics:

  • Case studies and descriptions of impacts of HABs on desalination facilities
  • Toxin & Taste and Odor Issues
  • HAB biomass and dissolved organic material
  • Pretreatment processes
  • HAB control
  • Technologies for HAB detection and forecasting
  • Operations and management issues
  • Other

The deadline for submission is 15 February 2014.