IIT Bombay inaugurated a new Centre of Excellence on Membrane Technologies for Desalination, Brine Management, and Water Recycling on campus. Prof. S. Sudarshan, Deputy Director (AIA), Prof. Milind Atrey, Dean (R&D), and Prof. Subhankar Karmarkar, Head, ESED, represented the Institute at the inauguration. They were joined by Dr. Praveen Arora, Head, Water Technologies Cell, DST. The new Centre’s advanced instrumentation facility and website were also inaugurated during the occasion.
While water is abundant across the planet (it covers almost two-thirds of our planet Earth), potable water makes up a fraction of the same and is limited to a mere 1% of water present globally.
As the world moves towards an extreme potable water shortage by 2020, this will affect 40% of the population. There will also be a four-fold demand increase in the manufacturing sector and a one-fold demand increase from domestic users. The growing population, climate change, and increasing water scarcity have pushed the need to find non-conventional sources of freshwater. In the future, seawater and wastewater will have to be used to obtain the desired quality of freshwater using new-generation processes. Many states in India have proposed desalination plants to meet the water demand.
As always, IIT Bombay (together with IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Tirupati, and IIT Hyderabad) has taken the lead to meet the country’s looming potable water scarcity. To that end, the Centre’s objectives are to develop strategies and technologies for desalination, sustainable treatment, and the reuse of water with the active engagement of researchers and innovators across the country and abroad. The Centre also hopes to assist in the incubation and commercialization of developed technologies and products. The Centre represents a significant step towards ensuring safe, reliable, and sustainable potable water sources for rural and urban India for industrial as well as domestic applications by using innovative membrane technologies.
The Centre will be headed by Professor-In-Charge, Prof. Swatantra Pratap Singh, Environmental Science and Engineering Department.
IIT Bombay’s visionary step in establishing the Centre of Excellence on Membrane Technologies marks a crucial stride the Institute is making toward addressing the impending global water crisis. Apart from tackling the challenges of water scarcity head-on, the new Centre will also lay the foundation for a more sustainable and water-resilient future. The Institute eagerly anticipates the groundbreaking advancements and transformative solutions that the Centre will undoubtedly deliver, further enriching our world and safeguarding the precious resource of potable water for generations to come.