Access to clean, potable water has always been a problem in countries like Saudi Arabia. The climate and surrounding desert make it nearly impossible to locate overland sources of freshwater.

The Gulf of Arabia’s seawater would provide a ready supply, but the desalination process would be both costly and consume large volumes of energy, making it untenable.

British startup Solar Water believes it has a solution. By employing a dome that harnesses solar power to perform desalination, it thinks it has an energy-efficient method of providing drinking water to Saudi Arabia. The NEOM gigaproject will be the first location in the world where this technology is being tried.

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