Despite being surrounded by water, Varghese Mollykutty used to row a boat four kilometres along a narrow canal to a public water source to fetch a few pots of drinkable water for her family.
She and her husband and two children live on a tiny island village, Kuttanad, a unique marshy delta in India’s southern State of Kerala that lies below sea level. Recently floods in the southern Indian state killed more than 350 people since June, peaking in August with 37% excess rainfall in just two-and-a- half months.
Kuttanad, although ringed by water flowing from four perennial rivers, is one of the thirstiest areas in India. Its water is loaded with heavy microbial elements such as coliform bacteria and so is unusable for drinking or any domestic chores.
Most houses in Kuttanad have wells but the water is unusable because it is acidic with mineral content, brackish or unsafe with bacteria.
But Mollykutty now has a method to filter well water to make it suitable for drinking or any household chores.
“It has come as a big boon to us. We don’t have to go kilometres for water anymore. We can get it any time we want by opening a tap. We have only to fill the filtering chamber with water from our well,” she says.