India is fast becoming a water-starved country. An overpopulated country has overburdened its available water resources. With increasing urbanization, industrialization and agricultural needs, water availability per capita has been decreasing in the last few decades. Increasing pollution has further made toxic our available sources of water, reducing its availability further.This means that there is an urgent need to manage resources. This includes better wastewater management and more RO plants. Ironically, India is surrounded by water. But given that this is seawater, planners have ignored this vast resource. However, with RO plant manufacturers India now offering their expertise in desalination, we are poised to tap into this invaluable resource.
Potential of desalination plants
Water availability through desalination is among the rarer use of RO plants. Worldwide desalination accounts for approximately, 1% of water treatment. However, this number is slowly increasing. Not surprisingly, India has also followed the trend. Despite a 7,600 km long coastline, we have failed to utilize the availability of seawater in extracting water.
Interestingly, the coastal states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are also among the most water starved. With high population and industrialization, these areas are in dire need of water availability. Desalination can be the perfect solution to this problem. There is an immense potential in the immediate locality with a number of power plants, refineries and other industries located near the coastline.
Severe water crunch: An exploding population means escalating demand for drinking and household water. There is also increasing demand for food, which means more water for agricultural purposes. Rising industrialization and urbanization only add to the problem. From a barely manageable water supply we are fast moving towards a dangerously inadequate supply.
Urban centers like Mumbai are already seeing this crunch. It is estimated that water demand in Mumbai will go up 13,000 MLD by 2025. It is nowhere near providing for this demand.
Growth in Industrialization: India has been focusing on its manufacturing sector for some time. The government has reiterated its commitment to agriculture from time to time. However, there is one hitch — almost all kind of manufacturing units need a ready supply of water. This is one of the major sources of water shortage in urban areas. Some industries like the power industry will completely close down without water supply.
Dependence on monsoon: Large parts of India still depend on the monsoon. This exposes them to the vagaries of its cycles. A bad monsoon can seriously affect the agricultural output in a year. While it affects the local availability of water, including river water, it has no effect on seawater. RO plant manufacturers India can reduce our dependence on water.
Increasing pollution: The increasing pollution of water sources has further reduced our availability of drinking water. Studies have shown that most water sources, such as rivers, today have highly toxic water. Urban runoff and toxic materials trickling into the groundwater has further brought us to a critical point.
Desalination in India
Currently, India has desalination plants in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. These States have a high demand of water for both human consumption and industrial use. The ready availability of water source has led to a higher demand for treatment plants.
There are two models that RO plant manufacturers India are using in plant management:
Industrial Desalination Plants: Many of the industries in coastal areas, such as refineries, require a huge amount of water. A desalination plants solves their urgent demand for treated plants. These are usually privately built and managed plants.
Government-Owned Desalination Plants: These plants are largely run to meet municipal requirements. For private RO plant manufacturers India, this model usually has public-private partnership where the government provides the funds. The manufacturer and operator usually comes from the private sector. The government owns the plant and has the power to transfer operations.
The chief challenge in the establishment and running of desalination plants is their high cost of running. This can make them economically unsustainable. This is also why we see these plants mostly in the industrial domain where funds are available.
The other challenge is in the disposal of the reject water, which is very high in salt. There are valid and high concerns regarding its disposal in an ethical ad environment safe manner. There is need to explore new desalination technology by RO plant manufacturers India that focuses on its reject disposal, such as evaporation.