Solar water desalination system is one of the alternatives for supplying fresh water. On the other hand, some people are reluctant to use and rely on water produced by the system. Also, there are other barriers to the adoption of this system in Indonesia. This research aimed to conduct a preliminary study on the performance of solar desalination systems and identify factors that hindered its implementation. The methodology applied in this study consist of two approaches. First, the desalination system performance is determined by the quantity of freshwater produced and the quality of feed water, distilled water, and brine compared to Indonesia’s water quality standard. Second, the identification of implementation barriers was evaluated in the structural analysis method using MICMAC (the Impact Matrix Cross-Reference Multiplication Applied to a Classification) software. The performance analysis result shows low efficiency based on desalinated water produced, which ranges from 2.59% up to 9.67%. The water quality parameters of pH, turbidity, TDS, chloride, Fe, and hardness met the Indonesian water quality standard. The factor of “uncertainty of subsidies,” “niche market,” “poor solar energy data,” and “lack of policy/regulatory framework” were determined as critical barriers which have the most significant influence and highest independence.

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