“There is enough freshwater in Africa for everybody, but the management of water resources is less than optimal”.
This makes us understand that we have enough water resources, but we don’t know how to use them efficiently so that they can be conserved for later use. We need to understand the way we are depleting our water resources because human activities are causing many diseases and health problems. Water is one of the essential resources to sustain life on earth. We need water for almost everything from bathing, washing clothes to drinking water. The importance of freshwater cannot be denied. But are we taking care of our water resources? I think the answer would be no. The way we are dumping garbage and plastic in the water, the dumping of industrial waste from the factories, etc. have all led to contamination of water resources and led to water pollution. It is affecting not only the human lives but also the flora and fauna that exists in the oceans. They are fast depleting and becoming extinct because of the contaminated water. It is, therefore, necessary that the water is conserved in an efficient manner to prevent water pollution. The hazardous effects of water pollution are known to everyone now. It is essential that we keep our water clean and pure so that we can protect the water for future generations to come.
Innovations for curbing water pollution
Water conservation is quite necessary to curb water pollution. For these specific techniques need to be employed to improve the quality of water and save the environment. Practices like waste management, recycling, banning plastics can help in reducing water pollution. But over the years, seeing the alarming situation at which the water is getting polluted many innovations both at the individual and government level have been undertaken to curb the water pollution levels. Let’s discuss some innovations that have helped reduce water pollution to a considerable extent.
- The first and foremost way is to think of innovative ways of recycling plastic or prevent plastic waste from getting dumped into the water. Many countries have come up with brilliant innovative techniques to combat plastic and avoid water pollution. One such innovation is done by the Czech Republic, where they have developed an app where the consumers can order the exact amount of grocery they want and are using reusable packaging to deliver grocery to the home.
- Another innovation is by an Indonesia based firm Evoware, which makes food wrappings and sachets made out of seaweed material that can be dissolved and eaten later. This will prevent the filling of the ocean with sachets of different products that do not get recycled and thus pollute the environment.
- Approximately 100 million tons of disposable coffee cups are used every year, and most of them are not recycled. A united kingdom-based firm Cup club has come up with a reusable coffee cup subscription where the reusable coffee cups can be dropped off at any such store.
- Adopt an island initiative, has been started by an ecological engineer, Tarun Nanda who is using natural ways to clean water bodies in Delhi. He has used aquatic plants to construct floating wetlands. The plants are placed on mats made from plastic bottles and drainage pipes. When these plants are placed on the surface water, they absorb minerals like magnesium, iron and other contaminants through their roots and foliage which purifies the water.
- The use of artificial intelligence and robotics by Asim Bhalerao and Nidhi Jain is also an innovative step to control water pollution. They have developed a robot which has helped in diverting approximately 600 MLD (Million Liters a Day) of raw sewage from entering water bodies. The robot can also detect and inspect underground pipelines. This data can be of help to the authorities to understand the structural defects, maintenance failures, etc.
- Yet another innovation made to control water pollution is the development of organic water filter by two partners Anto P Biju and Thomas Cyriac. The filter can convert up to 30 litres of sewage water into freshwater within a few hours by using activated carbon. The innovation also adds minerals to the water, which is good for the overall health of the people. It is almost the size of a finger has the power to convert contaminated water into freshwater with the help of micro-reserves that are fixed over a disc inside the cartridge. It also doesn’t involve any maintenance cost.
- A Taraltec Disinfection Reactor has been developed by an engineer named Anjan Mukherjee to address the issue of providing clean water to the farmers for their crops. The device is installed inside a handpump or borewell and purifies the contaminated water in just 30 minutes. It also kills 99% of the germs inside the water. The device is cheap and effective and doesn’t require any maintenance cost.
- An efficient and cheap water filter for iron and arsenic contamination has been developed by Obin Kumar Dutta S Bordoloi, AJ Bora, S Nath and Sweety Gogoi which is quite simple and can remove contaminations of iron and arsenic from the water for less than a paisa. It uses two filters for the process. The first filter performs a chemical reaction on the contaminated water, and the other container has sand and gravel in it to extract pure water. As many as 75 schools and households have started using this filter to obtain freshwater.
- Dr Rajagopalan Vasudevan, a Tamil Nadu college professor, developed a road laying technique which uses plastic. This way, the excessive plastic that cannot be recycled can be prevented from contaminating the water. The method uses plastic along with the stone used for road building which melts the excessive plastic to construct one kilometre of road. The idea has also been patented in 2006 and has been used by more than 11 states.
- Decentralised wastewater treatment is used to divert wastewater from the municipal sewage in constructing buildings. The wastewater of the building is collected and processed and recovers the organic solids and converts them into high-quality soil for growing crops and adding scenic beauty to spaces. This water can also be used in the building for purposes like toilet flushing, irrigation, and cooling towers. It also reduces the buildings sewer connection fees as the wastewater is diverted from the municipal sewage and utilised for other purposes.
- Mudwizard is a simple and efficient water and mud treatment system. The system is easy and convenient to use and doesn’t require any previous knowledge. It needs to add clarification tablets in the contaminated water every 2-3 days. It separates the suspended solids continuously without any external support. The treatment is relatively robust and straightforward, and the treated water can then be re-processed, and solid waste can be recycled.
Innovation is the mother of invention. Innovations in all the fields are mandatory to bring changes and make things better. Water pollution is one of the major concerns across the world and is also one of the goals of sustainable development. To preserve our water resources and provide for our future generations, it is necessary that such innovations are thought and appreciated so that we can make the environment a cleaner and greener place to live in.