This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
India has been in a chronic water shortage for years, but this year things seem worse. Drought, a failing water infrastructure, and even politics are contributing to what many experts are calling the country’s worst water crisis in decades.
More than ever, India is turning to Israel for assistance in dealing with its water issues. Earlier this month, a dozen companies and as many Israeli officials were in India for its annual Water Week, where agreements were signed on water research and implementations of solutions between Israel and India, including several deals with the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana.
Leading the list of Israeli companies at Water Week was Aqwise, an Israeli water tech firm that has already had significant experience in India. In fact, it’s because of Aqwise that visitors to the Taj Mahal – located in Agra, a city with about 2 million people – have potable water, said Elad Frankel, CEO of Aqwise.
“We helped build a water treatment plant, designed to treat 160,000 cubic meters per day and supplying drinking water to the entire city. Aqwise’s share of the project is several millions of dollars. Aqwise was up against several global and well known water technology companies and its technology was proven to be the most successful and cost effective one.”
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To clean water, Aqwise attacks the elements that make it polluted – the chemicals, effluent, and other unwanted elements that make using water a hazard – with bacteria that thrive on those elements.
Aqwise’s technology uses thousands of little polyethylene biofilm carriers – little hollow plastic balls in which bacteria live, clinging to the walls of the carriers – and sets them loose in a body of water, which is aerated to ensure maximum exposure for the balls. Water passes through the balls, and when it comes into contact with the biofilm, the bacteria, hungry from all that aeration activity, scarf down the “nutrients” they seek, while remaining safely on the carrier.
Launch enough of those carriers into the water, said Frankel, and pretty soon you have clean water flowing through the pipes of a municipal water system, even in a city as big as Agra.
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