5.3 Technological Innovation of Water Management

 

5.3 Technological Innovation of Water Management

So far, we have understood how we can save water while using different practices. Now let’s take a look at what technological innovation has made for water management.

1 Atmospheric Water Generators (AWG)

  • The first Atmospheric Water Generators in India was developed by the three team members T Pradeep (IIT Madras Professor), Ramesh Kumar (MS Scholar) and Ankit Nagar (PhD Scholar), in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.
  • The invention comes at a time when the city of Chennai faces an acute water crisis. 
  • These generators will be able to harvest water from the atmosphere itself.
  • In September 2017, the invention was developed under the supervision of Vayujal Technologies Pvt Ltd.
  • These water generators came to utilize the moisture in the air and convert it into drinkable water.
  • One of the inventors, Ankit Nagar, stated that the idea came from the Beetle and Banana leaves that soak up the moisture in the atmosphere effectively for their use.
  • The water is first absorbed through a filter in the machine. The second step includes the condensation process where with the help of “Nano-engineered surfaces”, the water is quickly condensed. The condensed and accumulated water is then purified and mineralized to make drinking water.
  • The AWGs are cheaper than Bisleri water, but the quality of mineral water remains the same.
  • The performance of the AWGs depends on the moisture present in the air, which covers coastal areas to extremely arid regions like Rajasthan.
  • This machine brings down the cost of drinking water, the operational cost and electricity usage as well.
  • These machines can run on solar power, making them wholly off-grid, and it requires minimal maintenance. 

AWGs using a three-step procedure:

  1. Air enters the gadget through a filter situated in front of the machine.
  2. The moisture in the filtered air gets condensed on nano-engineered surfaces present inside the machine.
  3. The water that is collected is subsequently purified and mineralised to deliver drinking water.

 

     

    2. The LifeStraw

    • Vestergaard, a global company, created portable drinking straw litres of dirty, unsafe water to make it safe to drink for people.
    • The straw purifies a minimum of 1,000 litres of water and removes 99.9 percent of bacteria and parasites through a unique filtration system. 
    • Place the straw into the water, and drink. Sucking the water up through the straw forces it through the filter, removing 99% of bacteria, and 99.9% of protozoa, down to 0.2 microns.
    • It is a good choice for emergency preparedness stocks, and They’re small enough to carry in a pocket.
    • This LifeStraw is made from BPA-free plastic and chemical-free filtration membranes.
    • LifeStraw kills microorganisms that spread diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, and Cholera.
    • It is made of durable plastic and doesn’t require electrical power, batteries or replacement parts.
    • It was initially designed for communities in developing countries or as an emergency response tool, but nowadays, it is used mainly by campers, backpackers, travellers etc. 

     

    Desalination – Water from the Sea

    • It is an artificial process by which saline water (generally sea water) is converted to freshwater.
    • Israel installed the first Desalination machine in 1960; now, 60 percent of water comes from desalination from five large and 34 small plants in the country.
    • As we know, Israel is a county made up of 50 per cent desert and has been experiencing drought conditions for many years. 
    • This machine involves the process that removes salt and minerals from seawater and makes it for drinking purposes.
    •  Either thermal or electrical energy usually operates Desalination processes.
    • The energy consumption of the desalination process depends on the saline level of the seawater.
    • It is estimated that some 30% of the world’s irrigated areas suffer from salinity problems, and remediation looks pretty costly.
    • For using the Desalination process, the energy requirements are so high that the cost is high for many countries. That’s why it’s primarily used in regions lacking freshwater, ships, and military vessels.