Solar Distillation of Water from Soil and Plant Materials: A Simple Desert Survival Technique

Science  17 Sep 1965:
Vol. 149, Issue 3690, pp. 1377-1379
DOI: 10.1126/science.149.3690.1377


Water obtained from soil and plant materials by a simple distillation technique can provide a means for survival under desert conditions. A hemispherical hole in soil (in some cases containing cut plant material) is covered with plastic film formed and held in a conical shape by a rock placed in the center. Water collects on the under side of the plastic, runs to the point of the cone, and drops into the container. A yield of 1.5 liters per day of potable water was obtained from a single "survival still."