In dry climates, it always seems like your need for water goes up as water availability goes down.

There are many ways to disinfect water, if you can find it on the surface. But all that falls apart when there is no liquid water available in the first place.

This kind of situation can look fairly grim, but if you have live trees or shrubs and some clear plastic, you can build a transpiration bag to get a sip of water where there was no liquid water before. Another great thing about the transpiration bag is that the water you collect is pure enough to drink right away.

To make it, place a clean rock in the bottom of a gallon-size or larger clear plastic bag. Place the bag over a live, non-poisonous tree or shrub branch (use the leafiest branch you can reach) that’s in sunlight all day, and tie it off tight with string or a rubber band.

Collect water from the bag at the end of each day or when needed. To keep the branch from dying, and to keep getting the most water possible, select a different branch each day. Some trees make better tasting water than others, so try different ones to determine the best in an area. Don’t expect a bucketful of water, as this will be more like a spoonful. But you’ll expend almost no energy in getting that water.

Just make certain that you are not using a poisonous tree or shrub. The following are toxic when alive or wilted: black locust, yew, cherry, buckeye, horse chestnut, rhododendron and laurel.