Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Delhi Inaugurates Its First Solar-Powered Water Treatment Plant
A government school in New Delhi, India is now home to the city’s first solar-powered water treatment plant. The plant will use solar power to treat brackish water and produce 5,000 liters of water everyday. The water will be used by around 750 families of the economically weaker section living around the school.
The plant, which will cost around $45,000 to set up, will use solar panels to power the micro-ionising water purification equipment. The water produced from the plant meets the potable water standards of the World Health Organization.
The plant has been implemented by an NGO — Social Awareness, Newer Alternatives (SANA) — which has transferred the ownership and maintenance of the plant to the students of the school. Senior students of the school have been trained in special workshops to help them understand the operation of the plant.
The plant will also help offset carbon emissions, as the water would have otherwise been treated through the use of fossil fuels like charcoal. This makes the plant even more significant, as millions of people in India still lack access to potable water.
Such a model can be and should be implemented in other parts of the country as well, especially in the rural areas where people have to travel for several kilometres to get drinking water. Such a project in the rural areas would also provide employment to local people. The technology can also be used for coastal cities at a large-scale reducing dependence on limited freshwater and depleting groundwater resources.
The cost of such plant is still very high, as a result its development is currently restricted to the development sector. Hopefully, private companies will soon realize the potential of this technology and implement such projects at large-scale in a more cost-efficient manner.