The world’ s largest producer of desalinated water, Saudi Arabia also makes the most amount of waste from this energy intensive industry; but local researchers are trying to change that.

Ahmed al-Amoudi, head of a government-run desalination research institute, sees a future where industrially useful minerals such as sodium chloride salt, magnesium and calcium are extracted from the seawater alongside clean water, and no highly-salty wastewater – known as brine – flows back into the sea.