In a bid to tackle two major issues faced by urban India - sewage disposal and access to clean potable water, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur ((IIT-Kgp) has decided to set up a Re-Water Research Center to replenish and rejuvenate water resources. The center will be seed-funded by two alumni members, IIT-Kgp said in a statement on its 68th Foundation Day. "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.
An on-campus plant set up by IIT-Kharagpur 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 try to develop the technology is such a way so that it 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.