Distillation isn’t the fastest method of purifying water, but it works. It can be performed to attain pure water from salt water, but also to attain clean water from soil moisture as is shown above. This method typically isn’t practiced because it uses too much energy to be efficient, but in places like California where there is never-ending drought but a continuous supply of salt water, desalination might start to become more commonplace. To paraphrase salt water distillation from WikiHow:
- Pour your salt water into a bowl.
- Place a cup in the bowl.
- Thoroughly cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Place the setup in a sunny spot.
Salt water distillation takes an estimated three to four hours to produce about a quarter of a liter of water. Here is a video of a homemade salt water purifier in action. Similarly, a solar still extracts groundwater from the earth using soil moisture. The above-ground view of a solar still is pictured below.