Many places that need to produce fresh water from sea water are at lower latitudes. Nearer the equator, sunshine is stronger. Conventional desalination produces fresh water, but also about as much brine that must be disposed of. Doing so safely is difficult. Using that sunshine, however, it is possible to desalinate salt water where the products are fresh water and solid salt. Solid salt is easier to deal with, and can actually be sold as another product.
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