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Article
January 30, 1967

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE AND WHY THE SEA IS SALT

JAMA. 1967;199(5):335. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120050077019
Abstract

To qualify as civilized, one may display any of a number of vanities. Among those which will make one eligible for this saving grace is the ability to survive under improbable conditions. Surely establishment of Little America is a proof of civilization; inhabitation of Mars would be further evidence of an advancing society, even if it did contribute some virus diseases to the Martians, which they have not yet encountered. Civilization was brought to many Pacific islands not too long ago, with a substantial disappearance of Polynesians—a loss amply compensated for by multiple-storied resort hotels.

Pushing the frontiers of civilization forward has always brought medical problems, and a frontier currently under smash-crash attack is the waterless area. Parts of Israel, North Africa, Mexico, and large sections of our desiccated West would become fertile lands, if only they had water, fresh saltfree water.1

Advancing the frontiers will not harm native

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