Direct Potable Reuse: Crossing the Barrier

Pandering to public perceptions can often lead to expensive and somewhat absurd decisions. Take the case of indirect potable reuse of water. Is it not a waste to purify wastewater to such advanced levels, blend it with water of lower purity and then let it get treated all over again at drinking water treatment plants to supposedly make it fit for drinking? Or to take tertiary treated effluent and make it recharge groundwater through layers of soil pulling in contaminants all over again? Continue reading

Indian TV talk show calls for action on water

Aamir Khan in Satyamev Jayate

A tanker brings water to a thirsty village and all hell breaks loose. Men, women, boys and girls swarm around the tanker trying to fill their buckets – there is much pushing and shoving even as scuffles break out. Sometimes, kids get trampled in the stampede, sometimes the tanker itself accidentally runs over people and injures them. Continue reading

Looking beyond taps and toilets

By now, we all know that cities account for more than half the world’s population. Come 2050, it is expected that another 2.5 billion people will move from villages to cities. In China alone, more people that the whole population of the USA today will move into cities by 2050. These are mind-boggling numbers and present a scary picture of the future liveability of cities or rather the lack of it, especially in South and Southeast Asia. Continue reading

The Age of Information Technology?

Data data everywhere but where is the information?

Do you know how much water your country has in its lakes, rivers and wells? Do you know the same about your state? Or maybe your city? Do you know where to get all this information from or whether it is updated and reliable? These were the questions put forward by Rajendra Singh, an expert in traditional rainwater harvesting at a conference held in the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur. There were no answers. Continue reading

Our fate is tied to the oceans

Once again, I find myself writing about water pollution.

I went to an ‘exclusive’ holiday resort in India this June. The resort had all the luxuries one could ever want. What’s more, it was right near a seemingly enticing sea beach. Unsuspectingly, I ran towards the water only to find myself in contact with a brown, oil-like liquid splashing all over me. What a shock! Continue reading