Aiming to tackle the challenge of resolving two burning issues faced by urban India sewage disposal and access to clean potable water, IIT Kharagpur will set up a Re-Water Research Center, seed-funded by two alumni members to replenish and rejuvenate water resources.
“The scarcity of water for drinking and domestic use is becoming acute and will only worsen in the coming years. On the other hand, urban areas are witnessing massive sewage problems. The idea of linking these two crises and coming up with one viable solution is challenging,” one of the alumni members Aneesh Reddy said.
The ‘Aditya Choubey Center for Re-Water Research’ would be networking with government bodies to take up this technology and the process and meet the water challenge in various cities, Reddy said.
The institute is setting up an on-campus plant which will convert 1.35 million litre of sewage water from the hostels to 1.2 million litre of potable water, on a daily basis.
The pilot plant is expected to be ready by March 2019. “We will conduct quality assurance tests demonstrating the suitability of the technology for treatment of sewage and the suitability of the treated water for consumption and infuse confidence among all agencies and the public at large related to water supply, treatment,” faculty at the Department of Civil Engineering Prof M M Ghangrekar, who will be heading this project, said.
The researchers would also be developing an operationally viable technology so that the plant can be profitably commercialised. “The project is being developed to attract potential entrepreneurs and government agencies to take up sewage treatment at a large scale and with a business model for banks to gain confidence in funding such businesses,” said another alumni Anant Choubey.
Director, IIT KGP, Prof P P Chakrabarti said that similar models of water sustainability have been adopted in foreign countries.
“We are looking forward to participatory models in villages to implement this technology. We would also engage international water experts and professionals from the industry as researchers and advisors in this center. Aneesh and Anant will be advisers as well,” Chakrabarti said.