Indian city waits for desalination as scarcity grows

Despite growing water scarcity in the port city of Visakhapatnam, seawater desalination projects remain on the drawing board according to newspaper reports.

According to the Times of India the awaited projects include a desalination project planned by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) to supply water to the city along with another by Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) for the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP).

The newspaper said GVMC had planned to set up a 100 Ml/d desalination plant but GVMC commissioner Pravin Kumar was reported to have said: “We are waiting for the plan on how to take up the project and are taking the help of a consultant to design the project. Whether it has to be taken up in a PPP basis or through funding from external agencies is yet to be decided.” Kumar said the processing capacity of the plant would be based on a report by consultant, KPMG. “We have a scope for desalination plant along with waste water treatment, which will help the city in the long run.”

RINL’s planned 10 MGD desalination unit was being mulled by management, according to Times of India’s sources. It reported that a detailed project report for the unit had been prepared by a consultant and technical details of the project were being discussed with bidders for the project.

Meanwhile, a proposed 4000 MW power plant slated by NTPC-Pudimadaka was, according to the newspaper to have a desalination plant to supply water for the township and its plant requirements.

An “expert” from Andhra University, told the Times of India: “The National Institute of Ocean Technology had recently said that it has indigenously designed and developed a low temperature thermal desalination technology which will significantly lower costs for conversion of sea water into drinking water.”

He said that the LTTD was installed in Lakshwadeep at about Rs 20 crore (US$ 3 million) for 1 lakh litres (100,000 l) of potable water a day.