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Nikkei Asia Prizes

Indian researcher opens taps on cheap drinking water

Thalappil Pradeep wins Nikkei Asia Prize for purification technology

Thalappil Pradeep, a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, developed a water purification system that works without expensive filtration membranes or electricity.

TOKYO -- India's northern state of Punjab, bordering Pakistan, is known as the country's breadbasket, thanks to its abundant groundwater, which flows down from the Himalayas.

Much of that water, however, is contaminated with naturally occurring arsenic and iron. People in rural areas, or the poor who rely on well water in Punjab have long been faced the threat of poisoning, every time they take a drink.

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