IDA announces death of InDA founder

The International Desalination Association (IDA) has reported the death of India’s “water man” and founder of the Indian Desalination Association (InDA) Dr CH Krishnamurthy Rao.

Rao, who was chairman and managing director of Chemfab Alkalies Ltd, was a former director of IDA.

“He was a good friend, a man to be recognized,” said IDA director Leon Awerbuch.

Rao, who passed away on 19 January 2012, aged 70, is credited for giving India its first reverse-osmosis (RO) based desalination technology in the early 1980s, installing the plant on the beach at Chennai. As a result of its success, prime minister Rajiv Gandhi made RO a part of his “Technology Mission for Water.”

Rao later emigrated to Singapore, where the company Dr Rao Holdings Pte Ltd invented hollow-fiber ultrafiltration membranes used in the pretreatment of seawater for RO plants, in recycling of water and in industries to achieve zero discharge.

Awarded his PhD from Birla Institute of Technology & Science in Pilani, India, Rao was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by InDA in 2010.