Clean drinking water is something that many people in the world take for granted. But, in the rural areas of India, it is a very serious issue. In 2016, the population of India was 3.3 billion people.
Of those 3.3 billion people, more than 77 million of them had no access to clean drinking water. This number is higher than any other country in the world. But, there is good news for these people, as well as, other people around the world!
At the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, researchers have devised a water purification system that doesn’t require electricity. It’s solar-powered!
The system can decontaminate sewage water to make it safe to drink. This system solves two major problems faced by the people of rural India – it reduces the spread of disease from untreated sewage and provides clean drinking water!
The India government’s biggest focus has been on purifying water in streams and rivers. But, this doesn’t solve the contaminated water problem in rural areas. By treating sewage water, the problem can be solved at the source. The new system first filters out the larger waste particles.
Then, says the research, it uses the rays of the sun to, “generate high-energy particles inside solar-powered materials, which activate oxygen in the water to incinerate harmful pollutants and bacteria.” Sunlight, alone, can be used to purify water. But this system decontaminates water much more quickly at a low cost.
“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 Dr. Aruna Ivaturi, a researcher at the university’s School of Chemistry.
Together with the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Pune, the University of Edinburgh is trying out a 5 month test-run in several rural villages. After gathering the results from this test-run, the system will be modified for use on a larger scale.