Appropriate household point-of-use water purifier selection template considering a rural case study in western India
There is a wide range of household water treatment options available for a variety of contexts. Each water purifier has its own optimal range of operation. Simultaneously, the diverse environments and circumstances set different boundary conditions for such purifiers to operate successfully. In low-income countries, especially with unregulated and decentralised water supply mechanisms such as open wells, the use of point-of-use water purifiers is quite widespread. However, it is observed that the water purifier may not be appropriate to the prevailing context. Hence, this short review aims to introduce a wide range of water purification alternatives available for a family (of about 3-5 members) and the way they could be classified and reviewed. The perspective selected is that of a low-income rural household in coastal region of western India and the scenario of water quality which is primarily affected by physical and biological impurities and not necessarily severe chemical contamination. Based on this context, attributes are defined and prioritised; further, a scale to rate the purifiers is worked out. A selected number of point-of-use water purifiers for which data from the literature or field observations are available are reviewed against these attributes for the sample context chosen. This independent review methodology consists of setting the attributes and comparing the water purifiers based on the sum of prioritised scores and thus acts like a selection template and can be adopted to select the appropriate purifier for any other scenario accordingly.