The country is reeling from a sweltering heat wave and one of the worst droughts in decades. The scarcity of water has left our large rural population struggling to survive and as we await and pray for monsoon to bring some solace, people across the country--the government as well as ordinary citizens--are doing their best to develop methods to preserve water wherever and whenever they can, be it reusing and recycling water to water trains travelling to drought-stricken regions.
Scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) too, have been working on solutions to the country’s crisis and have now successfully developed a method to filter seawater and made it safe to drink--a solution that could very well be the answer to our water problems. As reported by NDTV, these nuclear scientists have developed technologies to “desalinate sea water and purifies water laced with chemicals.” KN Vyas, Director of BARC, stated that similar filtration techniques can be used to remove traces of arsenic and uranium in groundwater, making it safe for human consumption: “BARC has developed several membranes, by which, at a very low cost, groundwater contaminated by uranium or arsenic can be purified and made fit for drinking,” he said speaking to NDTV.
A pilot plant set up at Kalpakkam processed close to 6.3 million litres of saline seawater on a daily basis using waste steam from a nuclear reactor to purify the water. NDTV reports that several plants have been established in Punjab, West Bengal and Rajasthan. Smaller filtration mechanisms have also been developed and marketed across Marathwada, in Maharashtra, to aid in their water crisis. Although this processed water is free from impurities, reports state that it is not yet provided for consumption, but what’s clear is that this brilliant work of the scientists could perhaps be a plausible solution for the country’s water scarcity.
Video courtesy of NDTV