CHENNAI: The technology behind desalination plants may appear simple extract seawater, remove salt, make freshwater but operating such plant is a power intensive and can also pollute the environment through toxic brine (salts) effluents.

After it was realized that the solution to tackling water scarcity lay in seawater and the Sun, a team has now set up the country’s first solar-powered desalination plant, with a capacity to generate 10,000 litres of freshwater a day, on 120sqm near Vivekananda Memorial at Kanyakumari.

The solar-powered lo- temperature flash desalination system is locally available, time-tested and marries both technologies. The ministry of earth sciences-funded Rs 1.22 crore experimental project will be soon inaugurated.