Desalination is vital in providing the region’s cities with supplies of potable water. But the process itself is pouring more and more brine back into the sea, raising the question of whether the technology will one day cease to be economically feasible.

Never mind peak oil, or even peak water: Some experts are pondering the possibility of the UAE’s development being limited by “peak salt” – the notional point at which the Arabian Gulf becomes so salty that relying on it for fresh water stops being economically feasible

The National