Almost all middle schoolers have made Water-Filtration science projects, but many students and adults forget why water needs to be conserved. 187 students and 10 teaching staff of Berambadi Primary School in Karnataka did not only remember this important life lesson but worked towards it.
The James Hutton Institute led a Water Conservation project along with colleagues from the Indian Institute of Science, the University of Glasgow, environmental non-profit, the Ashoka Trust, and staff of the school.
A collaboration between Scottish and Indian water and social scientists to deliver a low-cost wastewater treatment system for rural schools in India gave birth to this project. The water treatment plant is said to be easily adaptable for different sites and conditions. This means more schools and communities can benefit from it and more water wastage can be reduced.
Students from Berambadi School
Deputy First Minister John Swinney told Deccan Herald, "Clean water is vital for a good quality of life and we want to be a world leader in the responsible management of our most critical resource. We have an obligation to reach out to the world with our expertise to help others, to improve lives and advance our understanding of how to manage water sustainably, both now and in response to future challenges. This waste-water treatment system here at Berambadi is designed to recover resources, improve public health and safeguard the environment. I am pleased this system has been implemented with the local community in mind and in a low-cost, sustainable way."
The water which is filtered comes from the school kitchen, washbasins and utensil washing. Particles are trapped in mesh and the water is passed through different level of treatments to remove the oil and germs. Since the COVID-pandemic, they have been using Ozone to disinfect the water, hence completely eliminating the need for hazardous oxygen cylinders. “This makes the system relatively foolproof,” said Lakshminarayana Rao, Assistant Professor, Centre for Sustainable Technologies.
Prof. Rao also pointed out that the project’s origination depended upon realising that Indian population consist of 17.5% of the total world’s population and the water availability is only 4% of all usable water on the planet. The fact that India has more people than the quantity of freshwater brings the urgent need for its conservation.
The high throughput Ozonator from Rao’s lab (Photo: Rohini Krishnamurthy)
Manu D, an assistant teacher at the school, talked about how the system that was being used before the school closure due to pandemic saw 667 litres of water recycled daily!
These kinds of novel projects that not only teach students about various scientific ways but also bring something amazing to the school, nation and planet are worth celebrating.
Picture courtesy: connect.iisc.ac.in
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