Fast Company has an article on an unusual looking green building design which the architect's claim could desalinate sea water - The Freshwater Factory: A Bubble-Shaped Skyscraper That Desalinates Sea Water.
Why would you ever put a skyscraper in the countryside? In the case of Design Crew for Architecture's Freshwater Factory skyscraper, the idea actually makes sense. The skyscraper, designed for the 2010 eVolo skyscraper competition, isn't meant for human inhabitants. Instead, its series of bubbles are filled with water-filtering mangroves that desalinate seawater without using any electricity.
The system works with a series of circular tanks filled with brackish water. The water is pumped through the mangrove plants via tidal power, and is ultimately stored in freshwater tanks for later use. Design Crew for Architecture estimates that the tower could potentially produce 30,000 liters of fresh water daily.
Design Crew's system is intended for the Spanish province of Almeria--a fruit and vegetable heavy region.