Industry: Atoms for Thirst

One of the most promising prospects for creating a major new industry lies in the sea. If U.S. scientists can develop a practical, economic way to desalt sea water, they will not only ease such regional problems as drought, but will generate demand for many kinds of machines and human skills. While more than 200 desalting plants are already operating around the world, including nine in the U.S., they have yet to surmount one vexing problem: cost. The desalting plants have been unable to produce fresh water for much less than $1...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!