09:27 GMT +324 July 2019
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    In this May 10, 2016, file photo, a Shepard drinks water on the dry bed of Manjara Dam, which supplies water to Latur and nearby villages in Marathwada region, in the Indian state of Maharashtra

    Indian Scientist Comes Up With Frugal Innovation for Desalination of Brackish Water

    © AP Photo / Manish Swarup
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    Water-borne diseases in India affected as many people as the population of the United Kingdom between 2012 and 2017, according to data provided to the Indian Parliament by the health minister in April 2018.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): A scientist in India has developed a simple method to convert brackish or saline water for human consumption

    Dr Samrat Ghosh of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, in Mohali in the Indian city in the State of Punjab, has came up with the method considering the perennial issue of water-borne diseases affecting a large section of the population in the country.

    The scientist has claimed that his frugal idea of micro-distillation can be adopted by every household where potable water is not available. It involves using two common pressure cookers – one for boiling raw water and another for collecting desalinated water. Both are connected by an aluminium or copper tube as steam conduit. The steam or water vapour travels through the conduit, which dissipates heat and effects in condensation and consequently steam is converted back to liquid water that can be collected in a receptacle placed at the other end. In cases of emergency, even food-grade aluminium foil can also be converted into a pipe for collecting desalinated water.

    “Raw water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 900 ppm is converted to potable water at 24 ppm. Palatability of water below 300 ppm is considered excellent,” Dr Ghosh said.

    According to the scientist, there is no need to use chemical agents in the process and it is absolutely safe. It can act as a lifehack for emergency or survival purposes - not for scaled-up commercial use.

    From 2012-2017, water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid and viral hepatitis claimed 10,738 lives in India, and the country loses 73 million working days per year due to these diseases.

    India’s burgeoning population and climate change are seen as the major contributors to the water crisis. 

    Currently, Chennai, the sixth-most populated city in India’s southern part along the Bay of Bengal, is reeling under acute water shortage.

    According to an Indian government think-tank, the country is facing its worst water crisis in history, with more than 600 million people facing acute water shortage across 21 cities.

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