Internship (Desalination)

UNU Institute for Water Environment and Health (UNU‐INWEH)

Hamilton, ON, Canada 🇨🇦

Background: Conventional approaches relying on rainfall and river runoff in water scarce areas are not sufficient to meet the human needs, despite improvements in water‐use efficiency techniques. Water‐scarce countries, regions and communities need a new water paradigm considering a range of unconventional water resources to narrow the water demand‐supply gap for food production, livelihoods, ecosystems, and sustainable development. Among unconventional water resources, desalination of sea water or highly saline groundwater leads to removal of salts and minerals, thereby resulting in high‐quality water for human use. In recent years, partly desalinated water has also been considered for agriculture.    At UNU‐INWEH, we intend to initiate the process of data collection and synthesis to develop a state‐of‐ the‐art review to elaborate on the status of desalinated water and its use in different sectors, economics of desalination and its comparison with other sources of water, policy and institutional aspects, and environmental trade‐offs, among others. In addition, we aim for developing a policy brief.   We are looking for an intern to assist in the desalination data collection and synthesis processes, prepare draft of the report, and support the work on other types of unconventional water resources in general.    

Internship Requirements:

  • A final year undergraduate student or a postgraduate student or recent degree holder
  • Familiarity in undertaking research and literature reviews
  • Excellent computer skills, particularly use of Excel
  • Fluent in oral and written English; knowledge of any other UN official languages is an advantage


  • Collect and synthesize data on the status of desalinated water across countries and regions.  
  • Search of literature for the economics of desalination, policy and institutional aspects, and environmental trade‐offs, among others.   
  • Prepare draft of the state‐of‐the‐art review and policy brief on the status of desalinated water.
  • Undertake additional tasks related to other unconventional water resources, and any other activities related to the above tasks, as assigned by the supervisor.  

Expected Products (Outputs):

  • Datasets on the status of desalinated water across countries and regions and its use in different sectors.  
  • Policy brief and state‐of‐the‐art review on desalinated water.  
  • Internship report submitted to UNU‐INWEH, as per requirement of UNU‐INWEH internship program.  

Duration and Start Date: The duration of internship is at least 3 months (full -time), which may be extended to 6 months depending on the need and work progress. The internship is expected to start at a mutually agreed date in May 2018.