A new discovery for filtering water contaminated with heavy metals could complement existing industrial water purification techniques in Australia, whilst helping solve the shortage of supply in some states as well.
New South Wales is among these states. The new development emerged through the work of researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, the study’s co-lead author, said the water filtration technique takes place by using a special filter with aluminium oxide. The process only takes a couple of minutes after pouring the contaminated liquid through the filter installed on a flask. Kalantar-zadeh even claims that the filtered water is clean and “completely drinkable.”
The tool is derived from liquid gallium and it costs at least 10 cents. Gallium, however, remains expensive yet the additional cost on new filtration methods will be a worthwhile expense especially in drought-stricken areas.
Other than using innovative filtration tools, the need for water restrictions in New South Wales could happen as a result of declining water levels in Sydney’s dams. Additional supplies from a $1.8 billion desalination facility may be used if the city’s supply falls to 60 per cent.
In that case, the state government may impose restrictions sooner than expected. State-owned WaterNSW said the city still has enough supply until the next two years. The available supply may not last long due to the growing demand, so the public and private sector should work together in reviewing other options, such as large-scale industrial water purification.
The study’s findings bode well for resolving the country’s shortage of water supply. While restrictions may compel Australians to save water, it is also good to know that there are more ways to produce drinking water without relying on strict rules and costly desalination plants.