I live in Florida, so one thing I have in abundance is salt and brackish water on all sides. Of course, if I drink said water, it will suck. A lot. (Public service announcement: You can’t freaking drink salt water sillies). That being said, there must be some clever way to turn salt water into drinking water, right?
There is. It’s called a solar still, and in a pinch a still of appropriate size can create enough drinking water to keep you alive. This should not be your primary drinking water plan, but it will help. Here’s a picture of a solar still design:
As you can see, it’s not terribly complicated. I will offer a couple of small pieces of advice:
1) Try to keep your glass as close to the water as possible for maximum efficiency. The closer the glass is to the water trough, the better it works. Don’t ask me why. I’m not a freaking scientist.
2) The angle shouldn’t be too steep or too shallow. If the angle is too steep, it will reduce the efficiency of the device (something about all that extra air space). If it’s too shallow, the water condensation will just fall off into the basin rather than running down to the collection trough. About 12 to 15 degrees works for me.
3) It works better in the summer. It takes sunlight to make condensation. Since the sunlight is more direct in the summer, it works better. It really has less to do with heat than with humidity and sunlight. Again, not a scientist. Figure it out.
4) Seems to work better with a black basin. This kind of makes sense to me. It’s like eye black for your water still, and it draws in the sunlight. Sort of a no-brainer, no zombie pun intended.