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Image of an area suffering from salination problems. Image of Shakespeare quote

Acknowledgements

I express my profound gratitude to Phillip Adams for his encouragement and for the opportunity to fly this kite before a sceptical public through his column in The Weekend Australian newspaper and on Phillip's Late Night Live programme on ABC radio.

I owe a debt of gratitude too to Dean Prestidge, of Tek Design, WA, for early discussions and for a small scale experiment showing the limitations of enclosed solar evaporation systems in which the air above the water rapidly becomes saturated, limiting distillation to 5 l/m2/day, and also showing the rapid rise in temperature of a transparent cover due to the release of the heat of condensation emphasising the need for a large surface area to dump the heat or, better, to arrange air intake over that surface to recover the heat for evaporation.

I am grateful too for the myriads of emails and other correspondence I have received. Much of this correspondence was from engineers, physicists, geologists, hydrologists, farmers and others with a high level of expertise in their various fields. A few did some calculations with a skill I could scarcely dream of and said simply "it won't work". Others helped me to analyse the quantitative considerations which showed this opinion to be plausible but wrong.

Finally, I am extremely grateful to my sons Andrew for figures 3.4 and 5 and Marcus (http://www.mbwphotos.com) for the photograph showing the dry country in the north of Western Australia regenerating rapidly but transiently after a drop of rain. .