The new idea is to use the humidification dehumidification process to create a cool humid environment for growing crops that makes it so that they use 80-90% less water thus making the desalination economical because you end up producing more food with less energy even though it would be more inefficient than other desalination methods based on a pure energy in/water out analysis. This is basically a more holistic approach that reduces our need for fresh water by producing more food with less water, so much less that the greenhouse becomes a net producer of freshwater above and beyond what it needs to grow crops. Others have taken this idea even further and are incorporating aquaculture and algae production as well check out http://saharaforestproject.com/.
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