• Alleviating water shortages in India

Water/Wastewater

Alleviating water shortages in India

Apr 03 2024

Toray Industries, has announced its initiative to operate a sewage reuse demonstration plant in Chennai, India, utilising advanced water treatment membranes. This move aims to address the pressing issue of water scarcity in India, particularly in rapidly urbanising regions like Chennai, where water demand is escalating due to population growth and environmental challenges such as drought.

India is currently facing significant water shortages, with approximately half of the country affected by drought conditions. Toray estimates that there is a considerable shortfall in water supply, ranging from 30% to 40%, exacerbated by the high costs of transporting water from other regions. Compounding the issue, only a fraction of sewage is properly treated, leading to pollution of rivers and other water bodies.

In response to these challenges, Toray's proposal to demonstrate and commercialise energy-efficient sewage reuse systems in India was chosen by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in April 2021. This initiative aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aims to address water scarcity by employing water treatment membranes for sewage reclamation.

In August 2022, Toray established the Toray India Water Research Centre at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras Research Park, fostering collaboration between academia and industry to develop sewage reuse technologies. This centre has recently launched a sewage reuse demonstration plant, utilising a combination of biological treatment, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, and membrane bioreactor technologies.

Toray's system effectively treats sewage, producing reclaimed water with reduced organic matter, particles, and microorganisms. This water can be reused indirectly for drinking purposes after further treatment to remove salts, heavy metals, and other contaminants.

Furthermore, Toray has developed energy-efficient products employing reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration membranes, consuming 30% less power than conventional systems. Given the rise in electricity rates in India, Toray's energy-saving technology presents an attractive solution for addressing water scarcity in the market.

Looking ahead, Toray's efforts will contribute to greater sewage reuse in major Indian cities like Chennai and Mumbai, ultimately helping the nation tackle severe water shortages. This initiative underscores Toray's commitment to sustainability and its vision of achieving sound, sustainable growth by providing innovative solutions to global water challenges and promoting a circular economy through the development of water treatment membrane systems.


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