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Innovations To Combat Water Crisis

Collecting vaporised water.

Global water crisis is deepening with each passing day. Even a developed city like Cape Town in South Africa is enduring one of the worst water crisis and it may allegedly run out of water next year, if not sooner. Closer to home, Kerala has declared 9 districts as drought hit due to shortage of water. There are 1.2 Billion people or almost 1/5th of the world’s population that live with water scarcity. In India, 330 million people suffer from regular water shortage issues with limited access to clean and safe water.

The critical condition of the availability of this natural resource has led to several innovations to conserve water. Rainwater harvesting, irrigation techniques and atmospheric water generation are few of the areas of innovation.

Atmospheric water generators have proved to be particularly important innovation for the places with high humidity but no rains. The invention got a lot of momentum when for a marketing campaign, University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) Peru created billboards with atmospheric water generators and placed them at various locations in the city of Lima to solve drinking water problems for thousands of people.

In India, Uravu, a Hyderabad based startup has created an atmospheric water generator system which is cost effective and uses solar energy instead of electricity.

The technology used in these atmospheric water generators is no different than the one utilised in Air conditioners. Realising a potential and a space to make a different there, Godrej Appliances, one of the leading manufacturers of home appliances in India, has launched its #MyACSavesWater initiative to educate and encourage people to re-use this distilled water generated from air conditioners.

The thought behind the initiative is – Inside the indoor unit of an AC, there are evaporator coils that cool the warm air blown over it. This causes condensation and moisture forms on the coil, just like how water droplets form on a cold glass of water on a hot day. If run for a period of 8 hours, the air conditioner generates almost 10 Litres of water due to condensation. Generally, this water is taken out of our homes and discarded through drain pipes. However, with approximately 5 million units of air conditioners sold in India each year, that’s potentially 50 million litres of water daily that can be saved and re-used, even without considering the existing installed base of ACs.

Godrej Appliances, as part of the initiative has also provided 1000 customers of its Green Balance range of Air Conditioners, with a unique 10 Litre compact and collapsible water can, to help its customers collect this water and informed them of ways in which the water can be reused like for watering plants, cleaning purposes etc.

As per the Indian Standard Code of Basic Requirements for Water Supply, a person uses about 125 Litres of water a day for bathing and cleaning purposes. With 10 Litres getting collected from air conditioners and re-used every day, we can save about 8% of daily tap water.

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The CSR Journal Team