For water purification, one size does not fit all: experts

New Delhi, August 9th 2019.
Experts working in the area of water quality management have emphasised that
there can be no “one size fit all” solution to tackle the problem of water
contamination as the nature and extent of pollutions varied across locations.

Participating in a panel discussion
organised by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the experts stressed
the need for proper testing of the quality of the water before taking any step
for its purification to ensure selection and adoption of a technology that was
most appropriate for the situation.

Dr. Pawan Kumar Labhasetwar of
Nagpur-based National Environment Engineering Research Institute, made a
presentation on the recent directive of the National Green Tribunal regulating
the use of reverse osmosis (RO) technology for water purification.

Experts discuss issues relating to water

The green tribunal had asked the central
government to ban its use, where the total dissolved solid in the water was less
than 500 mg per litres, and ensure that water recovery was more than 60 per
cent and the reject water was used for washing cars and other such purposes.

In addition, NGT had urged for
creating public awareness on the adverse effect of demineralization of water on
the users and wanted a mechanism to make local bodies and agencies involved in
supply of water regularly generate reports on the quality of water available in
their area and display them in public.

Prof. T.Pradeep, Institute
Professor at Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, stressed the need to
promote efforts to develop methods for easier and cost effective measurement of
water quality, and generation of potable water from newer sources including
humid air. “The world is faced with a crisis of water. The situation is
particularly acute in India as it has access to only four per cent of the
world’s fresh water resources, even while housing 18 percent of its population.
We need appropriate solutions”.

Speaking about the research being
conducted in his laboratory, he said he and his colleagues have developed a
technology for removing arsenic from water using nano-materials and it is being
used to deliver clean water to 900,000 persons every day. “Research is on in
different institutions across the country and abroad. Availability of
technologies is not the limitation. There is a need for measures to take them
to the market through start-up companies”, he added.

Dr. Swachchha Mazumdar of
Kolkata-based Central Glass & Ceramic
Research Institute and Dr. Vinod K. Shahi
of Central Salt and Marine
Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar, spoke about the efforts being made by
their institutions to develop a bouquet of water purification solutions based
on ultra-violet irradiation, ozonation, gravity filtration and other such

Setting the discussion rolling,
CSIR Director General, Shekhar C.Mande, said CSIR was committed to promote
research and development in all aspects of water management considering that water
was an essential component in the social and economic development of the

By Sunderarajan Padmanabhan

(India Science Wire)

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