3 Ways to Turn Salt Water into Drinking Water
Water is essential for life, but unfortunately, readily accessible fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce. Almost 97.5% of the Earth’s water supply is saltwater, which is not suitable for drinking. However, with the proper technology and technique, saltwater can be turned into drinkable fresh water. In this article, we will explore three methods of turning saltwater into potable water.
Distillation is perhaps the most well-known method of turning saltwater into drinking water. This process involves heating saltwater and collecting the steam that forms from the heated water. The steam, now free of salt and other impurities present in seawater, then condenses back to its liquid state as fresh drinking water.
To perform distillation at home or in a survival situation, you can follow these steps:
– Fill a container with saltwater.
– Place another container inside the first one, ensuring it is floating and not submerged.
– Boil the saltwater and cover with a lid or aluminum foil placed at an angle.
– The steam that forms should condense on the cover and drip down into the inner container.
– Once cooled down, you can collect the fresh drinking water from the inner container.
2. Reverse Osmosis:
Reverse osmosis (RO) is a more advanced method of turning saltwater into drinking water that requires specialized equipment. In this process, high pressure forces seawater through a semipermeable membrane that filters out salts and impurities, leaving behind clean drinking water.
RO systems consist of pumps and filters connected in series. While RO filtration systems can be expensive to set up initially, they are very effective at producing pure, taste-free water suitable for drinking.
3. Solar Desalination:
Solar desalination harnesses the power of sunlight to turn salty seawater into fresh drinking water. This method is particularly beneficial in rural or remote areas where access to electricity and resources are limited.
One common solar desalination setup is the solar still. Here’s how to make a simple solar still:
– Dig a hole in the ground at a sunny location.
– Place a container in the center of the hole for collecting water.
– Fill the perimeter of the hole with saltwater, surrounding the container.
– Cover the hole with a clear plastic sheet, securing it on all sides.
– Place a small rock at the center of the sheet so that it slopes at an angle toward the container.
– As sunlight enters, water evaporates from the saltwater and sticks to the underside of the sheet. The condensed freshwater drips into the container, while salts and impurities remain behind.
There are several methods available for turning saltwater into drinking water, each with its pros and cons. Depending on your situation and resources, you may opt for distillation, reverse osmosis, or solar desalination. By harnessing any of these techniques, you can help meet freshwater needs and contribute to alleviating water scarcity challenges faced across the globe.