Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Will future wars be fought over water?


Just consider a simple statistic by WHO (World Health Organization). More than 3.4 million people die every year just because of water-borne diseases. Shockingly it is the leading cause of disease and death in the world. Unfortunately, victims are mostly young children who die because contamination of water. United Nation in 2010 promulgated that access to portable water was the fundamental right of every citizen in the world, but the reality is shy off to the promises.

In India scarcity of water is one of the major troubles citizens have to face day-to-day basis. This universal resource is a matter of survival now, health is a far cry. The same thing happens with other developing nations as well. As per a recent statistics 80 percent of deaths in developing nations are associated with water-borne diseases.

In this backdrop, an initiative taken up in the National Capital to provide potable water to school students through solar-powered water treatment plants appears to be worth replicating. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit recently commissioned the first such water treatment station set-up at the Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya in Surajmal Vihar in East Delhi, aimed at supplying over 5000 liters of drinking water per day as per the World Health Organization standards.

If the pilot scheme turns out to be successful, the Delhi government is said to have install such units in all 17 Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas, which were set-up for talented students from economically weaker sections of the society. The project is being developed by Delhi-based NGO SANA (Social Awareness Newer Alternatives) with the help of donor Green and Blue PLC and technology partner Sunlabob from Laos that came up with the suitable model and solutions.

The plans set up by SANA uses an abandoned bore-ell to help produce over 5000 liters of drinking water daily that meets WHO standards. It uses solar powered panels and micro-ionising water purification processes, converting brackish, contaminated water.


The water purification station enables pumping, purification and disinfection. The system will also include water-bottling facilities, including recyclable plastic polyethylene bottles and equipment to locally produce chlorine that is used to disinfect bottles after they are returned for refilling. This pilot project will receive initial technical and operational training from Sunlabob as well as ongoing support from GRENBL and SANA, water quality checks and provision of replacement components, according to NGO.

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