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Indian-Origin Researchers at York University in Toronto find ‘sweet’ solution to Purify Contaminated Water

The paper strip solution called "DipTreat" is laced with sugar to kill E. coli bacteria in contaminated water

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Representational Image, Pixabay

Toronto, Nov 15, 2016: Indian-origin researchers at York University in Toronto have developed a solution for water treatment that uses only naturally available antimicrobial substances and sugar.

The paper strip solution called “DipTreat” is laced with sugar to kill E. coli bacteria in contaminated water.

“We were able to efficiently remove almost 90 percent of bacteria by dipping the special paper strip, DipTreat, in contaminated water samples,” said one of the researchers Sushanta Mitra.

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The discovery will be key to developing a new generation of inexpensive and portable water treatment devices, with human health benefits around the world – from the far north of Canada to the remote villages of India, Mitra said.

“Now with DipTreat, we have learned it will take less than two hours to fish, trap and kill E. coli in water,” Mitra, Professor at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering.

While using porous paper strips to trap the bacterial cells, for killing, the researchers used an antimicrobial agent extracted from the seeds of moringa — commonly known as drumstick or horseradish tree.

As a result, the DipTreat solution for water treatment uses only naturally available antimicrobial substances and sugar, with minimal environmental and health impact.

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Currently, popular water treatment systems use silver nanoparticles and clays, whose long term impact on human health is yet to be fully understood, according Mitra.

So far, DipTreat is effective for small quantities of water. For example, someone who is hiking can collect a glass of water and then dip the paper strips to purify it before drinking.

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The researchers believe that the invention could lead to a much greater impact.

Published in the journal Environmental Science Water Research & Technology, the study is co-authored by Mitra, Saumyadeb Dasgupta and Naga Siva Gunda. (IANS)

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)