Alternative Water Systems Project (India)

The Alternative Water Systems Project seeks to develop a point-of-use safe water system incorporating natural plant-derived coagulants, simple sari cloth filtration and chlorine disinfection for the control of waterborne diseases in South Asian slums. This is a technical approach that is simple, inexpensive, makes use of locally-available materials, but has yet to be explored. Laboratory-based development of a safe water system incorporating these elements will be followed by field implementation in Mylai Balaji Nagar, a periurban slum community in Chennai, India. Preliminary social research will focus on ensuring a close fit between the laboratory-developed system and community needs, as well as defining the most appropriate policy framework for its deployment. Follow-up social research will examine barriers to sustainability of point-of-use safe water supply schemes. Epidemiological field research will assess the effectiveness of the system in controlling diarrheal disease. The idea is to promote alternatives to centralized water systems and bring about immediate improvement in public health in the most vulnerable sectors of the urban population in South Asia.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, March 19, 2009

End Date

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


39 months

IDRC Officer

Mitchell, Carrie

Total funding

CA$ 332,336


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Climate Change

Project Leader

Dr. Kevin Hall


University of Guelph

Institution Country


Institution Website

Project Leader

Ligy Philip, PhD


India Institute of Technology, Madras

Institution Country


Institution Website