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Desalination – The Way Forward to Alleviate India’s Deepening Water Crises

Posted: 03/06/2021
Category: Pumps

In recent years, India has seen a severe erosion of its groundwater table. High extraction of groundwater has not only affected water quantity but also quality. Erratic monsoons, droughts, changing climatic conditions have led to demand for drinking water in various parts of India. During past summers, drinking water had to be transported via rail containers to metros like Chennai and smaller towns like Latur, Maharashtra.

Fortunately, India is blessed with a long coastline, spanning over a dozen states and union territories. Desalination pumps and plants that convert seawater into drinkable water can help millions of people access clean drinking water at all times.

Yet, there is no national policy to harness seawater. The National Water Policy bill of 2016 doesn’t make any mention of seawater desalination. There is a common misconception that seawater desalination is expensive. However, thanks to the latest advancement of desalination technology and desalination pumps now make this technology affordable.

The Rapid Growth of Desalination Plants across the Globe


Desalinated water is suitable for various uses: domestic, agricultural and industrial. Seawater desalination is becoming a great tool to alleviate severe water shortage and several countries across the planet are now increasingly relying on seawater desalination plants to meet their domestic water needs. Israel gets around 55% of its domestic water needs from desalination.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Caribbean Islands, South Africa, Australia, USA and North-African countries are leading the world in the use of desalinated water for domestic use. According to a World Water Development Report published by the UN in 2014, there are over 17,000 desalination plants in 150 countries. The number is expected to double by 2022. The International Desalination Association states that desalination plants supply a whopping 21 billion gallons of water every day in drought-prone regions.

In India too, desalination plants have been set up in various coastal states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. The largest desalination plant in the country is in Chennai. Operating on RO technology, this plant supplies over 100 million litres of freshwater to the metro city of Chennai.

Desalination Technology Across the World


Desalination today is possible via a variety of advanced technologies. The most common desalination technology is Reverse Osmosis, RO, in short. In RO, water from a salty source like the ocean is passed through a semi-permeable membrane. The permeate is the liquid that flows through the semi-permeable membrane.

Apart from RO, the other technologies in use today include nano-technology based solutions. In nano-technology solutions, nano-metal catalysts are being used to alleviate various water problems.

This brings us to the all-important question,

Is Desalination Technology Economically Viable?

Is-desalination-technology-economically-viableDesalination costs have decreased significantly over the years. Today, water produced via desalination cost just 1/3rd of what it cost in the 90s. Today, the world’s largest desalination plant in Israel can produce 1000 litres of drinking water for just 58 cents. According to the Desalination Association, the cost to convert seawater to produce 1 litre of drinkable water is just 10 paise per litre. The energy costs associated with running desalinated plants can be further reduced by using renewable energy sources like solar, tidal, wind and geothermal energy.

The Way Forward


Including seawater resources in the National Water Policy is the need of the hour. For the holistic development of the country’s precious natural resources, seawater should be included in the national water policy. A good way to reduce operational costs is by sharing the cost of the desalination plant set up between the centre and state.

The Ministry of Urban Development has plans to develop over 100 smart cities in the next few years. Desalination plants can be set up in upcoming smart cities to ensure a regular water supply. For example, Thane Municipal Corporation has selected a local creek to be desalinated to meet the drinking water needs of the city. The desalination plant will be established under a public-private partnership model and aims to provide water security to the citizens of the town on a long-term basis.

Best Desalination Water Pumps in India


Sintech Pumps, the No.1 supplier of desalination water pumps in India is here to provide the right pumping solutions for all your desalination needs. From feedwater pumps to pumps that draw in seawater, we have a huge range of desalination water pumps of the highest quality and world-class standards.

The three types of desalination water pump we provide include:

1. SCS (Split Casing Double Suction Pumps)

scs-(split-casing-double-suction- pumps)

This pump offers high efficiency with low maintenance. An advanced pump that offers 100% reliability and lowered pump lifecycle cost.

Key features of this pump include:
Easy maintenance
Reduced lifecycle cost
Increased efficiency
Enhanced performance
Low hydraulic loads
Increased life

2. Dynamic Sealed Pumps (UMOR)

Dynamic Sealed Pumps

Our range of dynamic sealed pumps is specially designed for juicing applications in the sugar processing industry. It can handle slurries effectively. The pump is dynamically sealed and includes one repeller that prevents leakage and liquid wastage.

Key features of this pump include:
Hydraulically balanced
Pull-out type bearing assembly
High efficiency
Long life
Heavy duty shaft
Withstands high temperature and pressure
Minimum average life of 20,000 hours

3. SAF & SVAF (Horizontal and Vertical Axial Flow Pumps)


This pump can handle liquids of different qualities – from clear water to highly contaminated water. They operate at frequencies ranging from 50Hz to 60Hz and can use more than one head if needed.

Key features of this pump include:
Vertical installation hence requires very little floor space
Submerged impeller, hence no priming is required
The positive suction prevents pump

Get in touch with our sales team to identify the best pumps for your specific requirements.

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