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Turning Sea Water into Drinking Water

By: Murali Kamma Email By: Murali Kamma
September 2010
Turning Sea Water into Drinking Water In the computer age, reboot stands for restart. But what about deboot? It has nothing to do with footwear, either. DEBOOT is, actually, an acronym for DEsign, Build, Own, Operate, Transfer. An example is a desalination joint venture between Indian and Spanish companies. The desalinated water is transferred to the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

Desalination is seen as a viable solution to the water scarcity that Indians face in many cities. Earlier, the high cost of desalination made it an unattractive option even in coastal cities that had easy access to sea water. But this new plant “will supply 1000 liters drinking water for just $1 and could well be a ‘template’ for other coastal Indian cities,” according to Swaminathan Natarajan of the BBC.

So what changed?

As the news report elaborated, since water purification occurs through filtering at high pressure rather than high temperature, less energy is expended. It is commonly known as advanced reverse osmosis. Also worth noting: India’s success in Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) can be attributed to NIOT. It stands for the National Institute of Ocean Technology and is located in Chennai. The first LTTD plant opened in 2005 on the island of Lakshadweep, India’s smallest union territory, which is not too far from the Kerala coast.

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