7.7 crore Indians to get access to safe drinking water thanks to new solar-powered purification system

7.7 crore Indians to get access to safe drinking water thanks to new solar-powered purification system
Representational Image. Courtesy: goodnewsnetwork.org

Scientists are currently working on a low-cost, solar-powered purification system might help 7.7 crore Indians, residing in remote parts of the country, get access to safe drinking water.

At present, there is no systematic treatment of sewage in rural India, researchers at the prestigious University of Edinburgh in the UK have said.

According to the researchers, although the government has focused on purifying contaminated water in rivers and streams, the situation could be greatly improved by tackling the problem at source.

To make contaminated water safe to drink, visible traces of waste are first removed using filters. Then any remaining organic matter and bacteria is broken down.

The team, including researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Pune, is adapting its existing technologies to power this second stage in the decontamination process.

The system uses sunlight to generate high-energy particles inside solar-powered materials, which activate oxygen in the water to incinerate harmful pollutants and bacteria.

Researchers believe that this initiative, along with providing safer drinking water, will also help reduce the spread of disease.

“We are aiming to provide people in rural India with a simple off-grid water decontamination system. This could be achieved by simply fitting our modified solar-activated materials to containers of contaminated water positioned in direct sunlight,” said Aruna Ivaturi from the University of Edinburgh.

The team is now hoping to incorporate the technologies developed during the five-month pilot project into large scale initiatives which can help tackle water contamination, one of the biggest problems facing the developing world.

The researchers estimate that around 7.7 crore people in India do not have access to safe drinking water, more than any other country in the world.

“Working closely with our Indian partners, we aim to harness the sun’s energy to tackle a huge problem that affects many people around the world,” said Professor Neil Robertson from the University of Edinburgh.

With agency inputs

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