New Delhi Opens Solar-Powered Water Treatment Plant...and It’s Run By High School Kids

This week, India saw the opening of a much needed water-treatment center, which is powered by solar energy- the first of its kind in its capital city. But just as startling is that the plant is being run by a group of local high school students, Clean Technica reports.

The $45,000 plant was built as part of a project between the Indian government and an organization known as SANA (Social Awareness, Newer Alternatives). Turning waste water into drinkable water is done with the help of solar panels that power the treatment equipment. The final product meets the potable water standards of the World Health Organization, according to

Though the plant was constructed by engineers, its operations were turned over to SANA-trained high school students, who will be responsible for treating 5,000 liters of waste water every day. They're expected to have the capacity to provide potable water to roughly 750 kids, who occupy the surrounding impoverished area.

MORE: In Defense of Waste Water (Yes, That Means Drinking Recycled Urine)

Clean Technica says the purification station will not only provide drinking water to families in need, but will accomplish that while offsetting carbon emissions; the water would have otherwise been treated by boiling it using fossil fuels like charcoal.

Ramifications for plants like this are significant and can serve as a model for other countries. The operation not only repurposes a waste material, but it does so using sustainable energy. And, if it expands to other areas, is a potential job-creator for residents of the developing country. At least in New Delhi's case, it's serving as an opportunity for high school students to make significant contributions to their immediate environment.

According to The Economic Times, sustainable methods of water treatment are crucial for India especially as clean water is already at a premium, and the need for it is expected to more than double by 2050.

Why haven't we made sustainable treatment plants more ubiquitous in our own country? Let us know in the Comments if you think Delhi's plan would work in the U.S.

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A Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades previously worked as a fashion industry journalist and medical writer.  In addition to reporting the weekend news on TakePart, she volunteers as a web editor for locally-based nonprofits and works as a freelance feature writer for Email Andri | @andritweets |