Water for All: Sustainable Solutions for Reducing and Utilizing Sarvajal's Reverse Osmosis Brine in Northwestern India (2012)

Client Organization: 
Piramal Water Private Ltd, -- a leading social enterprise in India (under the brand Sarvajal, Water for all)
Project Location : 
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Summary of Project Idea: 

The Piramal Foundation, operating under the brand "Sarvajal", provides clean and affordable drinking water to over 64,000 people in rural India through locally leased and operated reverse-osmosis (RO) water purification franchises. RO produces liquid brine that is not potable. Due to water scarcity and contamination, making the most of water resources is especially critical in India, particularly within the context of global climate change and development pressures.

This project aims to find economically and socially acceptable solutions for the brine. A team of six SNRE students, led by Sarvajal staff and SNRE faculty, researched, developed, pilot-tested and analyzed creative and culturally relevant solutions for using the brine produced as a by-product of reverse osmosis. The team ran on the ground pilots at selected Sarvajal franchisee locations in India over the summer. The team aims not only to provide Sarvajal with a viable solution but also to contribute to the literature on solutions for dealing with brine from small scale RO processes.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Conservation Ecology (Aquatic Sciences, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology)
Behavior, Education, and Communication
Sustainable Systems
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Ming Xu
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Lilly Connett, MS, Sustainable Systems/ Aquatic Sciences
  • Kathryn Harris, MS, Behavior, Education and Communication
  • Vaishnavi Tripuraneni, MS, Sustainable Systems
  • Lauren Berent, MS, Sustainable Systems/ Aquatic Sciences
  • Caitlin Harren, MS/MBA, Sustainable Systems
  • Meredith Neely, MS/MSE, Sustainable Systems
Project Status: 
Past Project