Social Issues September 29, 2012
This Solar-Powered Water Treatment Plant In India Is Run By High School Students


Access to clean water is something we often take for granted in Canada - in fact, we consume more water per capita than any other country on Earth except the U.S.

But in parts of India, finding clean, safe water is a challenge. That's where a new project at a government-run high school in New Delhi comes in.

The school is now home to the city's first solar-powered water treatment plant. And the students there have been trained to run the equipment that will provide clean water to local residents.

Each day, the plant will produce 5,000 litres of water that will then be carried home by the students in five-litre containers to around 750 families living in the economically depressed area where the school is located.


The plant works by taking brackish water (which has more salt than fresh water, but less than seawater) and converting it into clean, drinkable water. Once it's processed, the water will meet the potable water standards of the World Health Organization.

NGO Social Awareness Newer Alternatives (SANA) is working on the project, which will cost a total of $45,000, along with the Delhi government. And Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said if the plant works as it should, it will only be the beginning.

"If all goes well with this plant, these systems would be installed in all 17 Rajkiay Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas which have talented students from weaker sections," she said. In her speech, she referred to economically depressed areas as "weaker sections," which is probably not how a North American politician would phrase it (although Mitt Romney? Who knows).

The Minister also suggested that the project could improve drop-out rates by offering students an incentive to continue their education.

And according to environmental website CleanTechnica, a similar model could be implemented in rural areas of the country, where people have to go a long way to get drinking water.

Related articles:

It's World Water Day

INFOGRAPHIC: Why and How to Stop Wasting Water

SOAP BOX: Water By The Numbers With The Water Brothers



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