India may have to desalinate seawater, says expert

Kolkata, June 29 (IANS) India might have to desalinate seawater to supplement its increasing water requirements, the government’s principal scientific advisor said Saturday.

“The rainfall over India has not increased, but population has several fold. Water availability will go down unless we make efficient ways of conserving and using it. We may have to go for seawater desalination powered by nuclear energy or solar energy,” R. Chidambaram told reporters on the sidelines of the 120th birth anniversary celebrations of scientist and applied statistician P.C. Mahalanobis at the Indian Statistical Institute here.

He also pointed out how Irsael had adapted its low water availability to its requirements.

“We have to use water efficiently for agriculture. About 80 percent of water is used for agriculture. There is a huge amount of wastage in India compared to the way Israelis are using water. They have very little water but they are using it efficiently,” said Chidambaran.

India has the world’s largest desalination plant based on hybrid technology in Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu.

Desalination is the process by which salt is removed from seawater to make it suitable for drinking or irrigation.

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