To outsiders, it may come as a surprise that Kerala, a land of 44 rivers, is turning to desalination plants to ward off thirst. The government has identified 19 sites in five coastal districts - all of them badly hit in terms of drinking water availability - for setting up desalination facilities to address the problem.
The project will be implemented by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA), KWA chairman V J Kurian said. The proposed plants will employ reverse osmosis for purifying saline water.
Six of the locations are in Thiruvananthapuram - Vettucaud, Veli, Pozhiyoor, Poovar, Muthalapozhi Harbour, Anchuthengu and Puthiyathura. Kollam will get four; at Sakthikulangara, Thangassery, Thevally and Mangad while Alappuzha stands to get two - at Kainakari and Nedumudi in the Kuttanad belt. In Thrissur district, Poyya has been selected for the purpose, while five locations have been identified in Kasargode district - Thalangara, Bangode anganwadi, Nellikkunnu beach (north) and Nellikkunnu beach (south) and the anganwadi at Moideen Palli Pallam Road. The capacity of the proposed desalination plants range from 2000 litres per hour (lph) to 10,000 lph.
The bigger desalination plants are intended for the two sites in Kuttanad, which face an acute shortage of drinking water.
‘’We selected places that face severe water scarcity and where the KWA also face difficulty in supplying water. Since Kerala has a coastline of 590 kilometres, we also wanted an even distribution of the plants,’’ KWA managing director Ashok Kumar Singh said.
‘’The choice of water that will be treated has been left open and depending on the location,’’ he said.