Desalination Is No Panacea, But Holds Potential as Water Shortage Solution

"Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink," said the Ancient Mariner in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's famous poem. Indeed, we are surrounded by water – about 80 percent of Earth's surface is covered by water – yet only 2.5 percent is freshwater. Of this freshwater, about 70 percent is frozen in glaciers and permafrost. Therefore, less than one percent of the planet's total water is non-frozen freshwater, most of which consists of groundwater (water stored beneath the Earth's surface).