Defluoridation of Water
The project commenced its activities by identifying and recruiting various partners from India. The Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (ICT Mumbai), was identified as an academic and research partner. Indian Natural Resource and Economic Management (INREM) was recruited to provide support in the field, Sattva Consulting provided support in management and oversight, and Sarvajal supported dissemination. A substantial amount of Indian bauxite was obtained from two different mines. Samples of fluoride-contaminated water from Jhabua were collected and transferred to INREM and ICT Mumbai for analysis. The team also conducted field visits to understand the ground realities of the issue.
Water samples from Jhabua were taken back to the US to conduct testing and revealed high-nitrate levels, which can be attributed to the overuse of nitrate-based fertilizers. A paper from UCB outlined carbon impact, cost analysis, and energy intensity analysis of bauxite as a fluoride adsorbent, compared to competing technologies. ICT Mumbai students performed fluoride absorption analysis and the results were forwarded to the Gadgil Lab (Berkeley) for further analysis.
In 2019, the team conducted a field visit to Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, to monitor work and test levels of fluoride in the region’s water. The project focused on raising awareness and local support through holding a district-wide meeting on the issue of fluorosis with the District Collector of Jhabua and heads of various government departments.
The project activities were terminated prematurely due to restrictions on fieldwork imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020–21.