One sixth of the world’s population lacks access to clean water. About 40 per cent suffer from water shortages. This seems absurd on a planet whose surface is 70 per cent water. We even have the desalination technology to turn seawater into fresh, clean drinking water. Why, then, is it confined to a few rich nations?
The simple answer is cost. Desalination requires the building of expensive treatment plants, which are beyond the means of the countries that most need the technology: Africa, central and south America, India, China and large stretches of the middle east.
Desalinated water costs about…
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