Water covers two-thirds of the earth’s surface and makes up 75% of the human body. It is the cradle of life, but some parts of our planet have almost none and many regions are critically short of drinking water.

Drinking water from the sea

If you think seawater is undrinkable – think again! Cutting-edge water solutions are helping turn seawater into drinking water to help solve this global crisis. In fact, seawater desalination is one of the most important methods of producing reliable water supplies near population centers in the driest parts of the world. Desalination plants are built to provide greater water security and reduce consumption of non-renewable freshwater.

But the process typically involves a high energy-consuming process making electricity one of the biggest running costs in desalination. Solving high-energy consumption needs using systems that improve energy efficiency and productivity in water processes has become a necessity.

Solving industry needs through digitalization

New ways of addressing desalination plant issues involve a set of solutions that include electrical packages, reverse osmosis (RO) technology as well as a range of automation products.

Intelligent motor control systems significantly reduce the amount of energy consumed by motors used to drive pumps and other equipment at desalination plants, compared to traditional suction-valve control. By improving energy efficiency, costs can be lowered, making potable water more affordable and therefore accessible to more people.

Reverse osmosis technology pumps brackish water or seawater at high pressure through a fine-pored, semi-permeable membrane in a closed vessel. Concentrated brine and impurities remain on one side of the membrane; water molecules pass through it, resulting in potable water on the other side. Exerting pressure with a pump is necessary because in regular osmosis, the water molecules would naturally flow the other way – in the direction of higher concentrations of salt and impurities.


Smart drives can reduce plant downtime, ease mechanical stress on pumps and electrical stress on motors, and extend the life of the semi-permeable membranes at the heart of the RO desalination process.

Featured solutions

We are a leading supplier of power and automation solutions to the water sector, with complete capabilities in integrated and optimized ICE (instrumentation, control and electrical) systems, as well as a range of automation products that improve the energy efficiency, productivity and reliability of plant assets.

Our digital solutions enable improved control, efficiency and safety of water distribution networks. They consist of an advanced SCADA system integrated with water leakage and quality management systems, scalable to any size of network.

ABB Ability™ System 800xA Simulator for electrical systems

An 800xA-based simulator for electrical systems for process industries.


ABB Ability™ Electrical Distribution Control System

The innovative cloud-computing platform that monitors, optimizes and controls electrical distribution systems.


ABB Ability™ Condition Monitoring for drives

Delivers accurate, real-time information about drive events to ensure equipment is available, reliable and maintainable.


Enabling better customer decisions

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