Water Distillation Using the Sun

Water Distillation Using the Sun

Knowing how to purify and clean your water for drinking is an essential skill to have, but before you can consider purifying your water, you need to find that water first.

It is very possible that you are not near a river or stream.  In some circumstances you may well need to start digging and using alternative methods to collect your water.

 Finding potential water sources:

forest with dry washBe aware of your surroundings and study the land for signs of Gullies or Dry Wash runs which can be a great source of water.

A good sign is if there is green vegetation and lush growth along the sides of a gully run. You can be pretty certain that these washes have had water flowing along them at various times during the year, but, In the dryer seasons, this water slows and eventually the flow diminishes or stops completely.

* However, there is a very good chance of water just below the surface. 


By studying your surroundings you will see green vegetation in most arid environment.desert scene to find water

Any plant life would not be able to survive on the land unless there was a water source just below the surface.

Often, with lush growth, you will be able to find a natural spring is seeping through a fissure in the rocks. It’s possible to collect your water by constructing a cistern to collect any water.

* Always purify any water that is collected in this way as it could easily of been contaminated by animals as it is left standing.


Using the Solar Water Distillation and Transpiration method:

solar transpiration

solar transpiration of leaves










The term “transpiration” means “to lose water water vapor”.

Water vapour, in plants, is lost through their epidermal pores or from their stomata, which are located on their leaves. This is actually a kind of gas exchange in plants.

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and through

During transpiration a plant will take in or absorb carbon dioxide and then exchange that gas for oxygen. The oxygen which is present in the actual vapour will then be lost through their stomata.

soar still

This method of transpiration can be duplicated to give drinkable water.

All you require is a plastic bag and a weight (normally a small stone) for the center of the bag. That’s all that is needed to collect water using this method.

The leaves are placed in a dug out hole and will give off vapour which will condense on the sides of the plastic bag and then simply drip down toward the weight that is placed in the center of the bag.

Ideally use clear plastic because it will allow the sun’s rays to come through and strike the leaves directly. 


This is an excellent method to collect moisture from the soil using a solar water distiller. Essentially the only materials you require are a digging tool [you could just use your hands], collection cup or bowl, sheet of clear plastic and a small rock for a weight.

The evaporated water is now purified water, so there’s no need to carry out any purification process before drinking..

If you have a small tube available it will make life a lot easier to run the tube into the cup first and to above the ground level. *Make sure it is secure and sealed at the top – you can then drink directly from the cup and not disturb the whole solar setup.

The suns rays will essentially “sweat” the moisture that is present in the soil and leaves and vegetation. From here the moisture evaporates, it will condense onto the top side of the plastic sheet and then it will begin to flow toward the center where you pearce a small hole and will drip through into your collection cup.





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