A solar thermal Forward Osmosis (FO) sea water desalination system developed by IIT Madras has enabled a drought-prone village on the Tamil Nadu coast to get a supply of fresh water at its doorstep.
Narippaiyur, a village in Ramanathapuram district of the state will benefit from 20,000 litres per day of fresh water produced from sea water. The FO system will supply two litres of good quality drinking water per person per day for 10,000 people in the village, successfully overcoming a major drinking water shortage in the village.
This initiative of the Ministry of Science and Technology can pave the way for scaling up the emerging technology in various coastal rural areas of the country to address drinking water shortage.
The FO system facilitates high recovery, low energy consumption, potential for resource recovery, especially in solutions of high osmotic pressure, less fouling of the membrane because of low pressure operation, easier and more effective cleaning of the membrane, longer membrane life and lower operating costs.
IIT Madras in collaboration with Empereal – KGDS Renewable Energy have successfully established and demonstrated this system to address prevalent and emerging water challenges in mission mode in the village.
Ramanathapuram district extends across a 265 kilometres stretch of the Taminl Nadu coastline.
The Water Technology Initiative, Department of Science & Technology (DST) has supported this field based effort in the district through the consortium members led by Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), KGiSL Institute of Technology (KITE), Empereal– KGDS Renewable Energy (P) and ICT Mumbai.