It;s ironic that some three-quarters of the planet is covered in water yet we have a water shortage… fresh water sans salt.  Therein lies the problem.  Desalination is possible but it is really a dirty industry – high energy input, and then there’s the problem of the disposal of the salt (you can bury it in the ground and toxify the ground water, or dump it in the water increasing the acidity and salinity of the water body killing wildlife in the process.

Yet the salt water bodies are teeming with life… How does this life cope with salt water?  Nature has an answer, actually several answers, and these may one day lead us to develop more energy efficient desalination plants.

The Biomimicry Manual: How does nature make saltwater drinkable?

View Slideshow It’s frightening to think, but one of every six people in the world today doesn’t have enough safe water to drink. Within 30 years, thirst will spread to three-quarters of the world’s population. But surely this clever ape can figure out how to tap our watery planet’s vast oceans?