By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 10 Dec: A workshop on ‘Myth & Reality of Drinking Water Treatment’ was organised by UPES, here. The daylong event, conceptualised and conducted by the ‘Department of Health, Safety & Environment and Civil Engineering’ concluded successfully at the Bidholi campus. Ardent environmentalist and scientist Dr Brij Mohan Sharma, Secretary, SPECS (Society of Pollution & Environmental Conservation Scientists), was the Chief Guest at the event. Briefing the media on the event, Arun Dhand, Senior Director, Public Affairs, UPES, shared that the conservation and protection of water resources and environment has always been a prime concern for UPES. “The workshop was an inter- disciplinary forum for the researchers, consultants, industrialists, academicians, entrepreneurs and professionals.” The event was inaugurated by ‘Chief Guest’ Dr Brij Mohan Sharma; Dr SK Bartarya – retired Scientist-G, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology; Dr JK Pandey – Associate Dean, Research, UPES; Dr Nihal A Siddiqui, Professor & Head, HSE & Civil Engineering Department, UPES; and Dr Kanchan Deoli Bahukhandi, Assistant Professor & ‘Workshop Convener’. Dr Nihal A Siddiqui revealed that the event provided a premier technical medium for learning the latest in research and development, as well as new applications and technologies. Presenting the workshop overview and technical details, Dr Kanchan Bahukhandi highlighted the context and significance of clean drinking water. “Availability of clean and potable water is necessary for survival of all living organisms,” she said. Delivering a talk on ‘Water Quality – Myth & Reality of Drinking Water’, Chief Guest Dr Sharma shared the facts on the prevailing water crisis in India. “India is presently going through a deep water crisis and 21 Indian cities, including the capital, Delhi, will face scarcity of drinking water by the year 2020,” Dr Sharma apprised the gathering. He shared a presentation on how to conserve water in one’s daily routine. Dr Vipin Saini, specialist in Materials Environmental Chemistry at Doon University, discussed various technologies for treatment of drinking water. “In the present scenario, it would be viable to use photo-catalyst water purification technology such as Titanium Oxide which harnesses UV Rays from sunlight to break down substances like microbes, dyes, crude oil and organic acid during the purification process,” he revealed. Dr SK Bartarya apprised participants with the difference in water quality of the different regions of Uttarakhand. “The RO (Reverse Osmosis) process purifies around 25% water and the rest 75% of the water is rejected as waste during the process. The RO purification process is essential in the area where TDS (Total Dissolve Solid) level in the water is above 500 ppm. The regions where the water has biological impurities and its TDS level is less than 500 ppm, the use of UV (Ultra Violet) filtration is the right process. The disadvantages of the RO Process are that it removes the essential minerals useful for our body’s good health while purifying the water. This has actually prompted many European countries to declare the sale of normal water, purified using the RO treatment as illegal. WHO too has recently advocated banning of such water,” Dr Bartarya revealed. The workshop included hands-on training on sophisticated water quality instruments viz. Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), Ion Chromatography (IC) & Atomic Absorption Spectroscopic (AAS) that are widely used for the analysis of drinking water globally. The Workshop Convener, Dr Kanchan Bahukhandi, shared information on various upcoming water treatment technologies and also how nanotechnology is integrated in water treatment. The workshop ended after the presentation of ‘Participation Certificates’ to all the participants during the Valedictory Session. The Organising Team members included Dr SM Tauseef, Dr Madhuben Sharma, Dr Shilpi Aggrawal, Dr Shefali Arora, Prasenjit Mondal, Abhishek Nandan, Venkat Krisankant, Dr Nishu Goyal, Dr Leena, Dr Pratibha Pathak, Tabbasum Abbasi, Arun PA and Dr Bikarama Prasad Yadav.