A recent article in the BBC talked about a list of 10 cities that would run out of water soon. Second on that list is the garden city, Bangalore. It is not surprising that this issue has come up considering the pollution of the surface water in Bangalore.
India ranks 120th among 128 nations on the state of the water resources. Almost 200 districts in India have ground water that is unfit for human consumption. Waterborne diseases kill almost 100,000 people in India annually and have led to the spread of diseases like Cholera, Diarrhoea, Filariasis and Malaria.
When it comes to issues like these one looks at other developing countries and how they are dealing with the situation. One might have hoped that China could have learned some lessons about contamination by viewing the expansion issues of America, but its pollution problem has been brought by China’s explosive growth to a degree that may require some steps to fix. The excellent news is that before they get out of hand, officials appear to be prepared to take steps to reduce the nation’s pollution issues. The most promising projects have been undertaken on the river Pearl. The river starts its 1-mile journey to the South China Sea, Pearl’s headwaters are in the Tibetan foothills. Nearly a 3rd of Chinese goods created for foreign export is made across the Pearl, meaning that the river has sustained a heavy toll during the years.
The government has spent billions of dollars to move the industry from the nation’s major cities and to construct new sewer treatment plants. Though there was a marked improvement in the water quality of the river, there’s still a substantial way to go before the Pearl may meet the water body standards in the west. The growth explosion of China has some environmentalists forecasting that America might be surpassed by the nation. This is in large part to the recent rise in the standard of living of recent average Chinese citizen, who can now afford to purchase an automobile for transportation.
Chinese consumers are buying nearly 24, 000 new vehicles every day. The Chinese government has been inundated by concerns from citizens about recent quality of their drinking water and their farmland as industrial growth and extraction continues to boom at an unprecedented rate. Government representatives realize all too well that they must try to maintain several controls within recent explosive growth if they hope to stay in power. The creation of an EPA style agency, called recent State EPA was supposed to be a step in that direction, but it’s so far had a spotty success record at best, because its own real power is at recent provincial level, and most Chinese provinces are more concerned with enhancing recent living standard of their citizens than with environmental protection. The Pearl River project may give China an opportunity to show the recent world their commitment to clean water, and water quality has improved within the past five years, but there is still a considerable way to go. The latest research study found high degrees of toxicity metals in recent Pearl River estuary, including shrimp that contained sixteen times recent recommended the degree of cadmium. There are several other encouraging developments starting to take place, including an increasing number of green groups which are being formed on China’s college campuses.
In India, the formation of the National Green Tribunal and its active monitoring of issues like the fires in the Bellandur Lake is a step in the right direction. The private sector has been active on that front and one has to just look at the technology being developed in India to purify water. A good example of this is the recent entry of corporates like Havell’s into the water purification business. Two of the most interesting innovations in this space, in my opinion, was the creation of
- Activated carbon cartridge, which removes the wide range of dissolved organic impurities such as pesticides, herbicides. It also removes impurities such as residual chlorine and its by-product (THMs)
- Reverse osmosis membrane- Thin film composite (TFC) membrane removes dissolved contaminants and Hazardous heavy metal from feed water such as dissolved solids, salinity, pesticides, herbicides, arsenic, chromium, fluorides, iron etc.
I believe water and its management will define the next level of evolution of the Indian healthcare services. An old adage goes that prevention is better than cure and it is truer in the case of clean drinking water.