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"Stepping up desalination—that is, filtering salt out of seawater to make it potable—seems like an obvious solution. But the two most common techniques, reverse osmosis, pushing seawater through membranes to separate the salt; and distillation, boiling seawater and collecting the resulting salt-free water vapor, both require costly amounts of energy and infrastructure. These alternatives may be less desirable than leaving ocean water alone and focusing instead on conservation and recycling of existing fresh water supplies."
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