A group of Indian scientists have devised a method to make seawater potable, approximately 6.3 million litres of it every day. They have also developed certain filtration methods that ensure groundwater containing arsenic and uranium are safe to drink. This heralds, relief for 13 states in India which are currently reeling under drought.
The pilot plant has been set up by scientists of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu, where they use waste steam from a nuclear reactor to purify seawater. The water is desalinated and it tastes like fresh water.
According to KN Vyas, Director of BARC, Mumbai, several plants have been set up in West Bengal, Punjab, Rajasthan, and several membranes have also been developed by BARC that can produce purified drinking water out of groundwater contaminated by uranium or arsenic, at a meager cost.
These scientists have also made several household water purifiers that are being marketed all over the drought-hit areas of Marathwada, Maharashtra. These purifiers have thin membranes and special filters to separate contaminants.
Recently, the Indian Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh informed the Lok Sabha that 25% of India’s population is reeling under drought. Presently, the major drought-prone regions in India include southern and eastern Maharashtra, northern Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana, Bundelkhand region in UP and MP. Therefore, such kind of invention is certainly good news. If the pilot holds good to the real application, the discovery has a certain potential to solve the problem of water crises that has affected millions of Indians.