By 2025, India might just use up all the water it has. A 2016 report by Water Aid estimated 76 million people in India have no access to a safe water supply. The Asian Development Bank has forecast that by 2030, India will have a water deficit of 50 per cent. With rivers shrinking due to pollution and industrialisation we are forced to over use ground water without sufficient recharging. With governing authority failing on cleaning rivers and urban water bodies’ onus falls on citizens to increase conservation at community and family level.
Water is our natural right but we forget that its limited . Urban water management is currently very inefficient giving rise to overuse and wastage. A system of sensors and meters can save millions of gallons of water if used in a systematic way. This would also ensure proper maintenance of water pipelines which have been laid several decades ago. Solutions to water harvesting recharging all exist but the problem lies in our behaviour. Water meter and sensor doesn’t cost much considering it’s a onetime investment. Second problem is convenience. We are willing to waste resource than to take little extra effort.
We imagine smart cities but without water for all it will remain a dream only.
Digital India campaign launched by the Government of India was to enable the citizens of India to be connected electronically to governmental services and other developmental activities.
One of the important areas this electronic connectivity can help is in conserving our resources. There is huge amount of information available in public domain about conservation of resources. Mobil app is one way to sort out the required information easily and quickly from this huge source.
Thankfully some organizations have come up with digital initiatives to help citizens in this great responsibility. Cost effective and convenient ‘Apps’ for monitoring usage and saving water , for checking up on rain water harvesting for a region , mapping ground water resources and recharging possibilities , products using less water, all are now at our finger tips.
Independent houses and residential complexes are now investing in water flow meter /sensor and associated Mobile Apps which sends out messages on hourly water consumption, abnormal flow, leakage etc. It’s worth the investment.
Digitization of water conservation can be divided in to three parts for ease though they are all linked .
Rainwater Harvesting Apps-
With toxic rivers and ponds, collecting rain water takes top priority. Apps with all the information about rain water harvesting as well as estimated predications come in to this type .
Such an App takes should take details about the region, house and roof dettails , number of floors, available ground area for RWH tank or pit and the number of people residing in the building. Based on these details it should fist calculate the daily water usage. Then considering the annual rainfall data of the region and metrological predictions , the app should provide details on what could be the position capacity etc of collecting tank capacity for potential rainwater harvesting.
It should also include infrastructure information such as the cost of pipes, fittings, filter and other accessories including labour and total expenditure to build a rainwater harvesting tank. Trained individuals or contractors of the region should also be listed in the App.
Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST), with support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has developed a web-based app that would called ‘rainwater advisor’. to encourage people of Puducherry . Click to read more
One more App is “Jal Sanchayan”, an android app for water conservation and recharge.It is a user-friendly android mobile application which includes all components of rainwater harvesting in single platform. User can also get information for any desired location other than his/her current location.It provides location based ground water levels, annual average rainfall and Aquifer information. Its interactive module enables user to calculate potential rainwater to be harvested in user’s location along with schematic designs, benefits, operation and maintenance of such systems.
Water Saving Apps-
These Apps are mostly associated with meters and sensors which can warn the user about excessive usage or leakage of water from an individual household. They provide hourly usage of water pinpointing the work which uses more water hence showing us where we need to conserve. Such Apps often come with suggestions of water saving devices for taps and showers and list all details of stores and products in the region.
Net Water is a wireless meter that monitors water consumption and uses the IoT technology to send real-time data to the cloud. This data can be accessed from a smartphone. A City NetWater meant for households shows the user his/her hourly water usage in the house, a breakup of how much water is being used in which room. Additionally, it also helps detect leaks. A city Net Water meter has to be installed at every inlet. NetWater gives every household real-time notifications from water authorities, lets you raise requests from the app and even pay your water bill.
Another one is WaterOn by SmarterHomes. WaterOn is a complete water metering solution. The solution is inclusive of installation, software, smartphone app, billing services and of course the water meter.WaterOn smart meters are capable of detecting catastrophic and small leaks which can cause significant damage to the property. With an integrated smart valve, the user can shut off water supply from anywhere in the world and prevent damage.
Water Resources Management Apps-
These Apps involve both satellite monitoring as well as human contribution. These maintain a data base of urban water bodies(lakes, ponds), underground water resources and recharging them. Satellite imagery is used but citizens also contribute updates.
TechNirmal is an easy to use and community friendly tool to help map the water bodies and provide key information on topics such as the area of the water body, the total amount of water that can be stored there and for how long, and, the number of families it can benefit.
The information received through it can provide guidance to the community on conserving their natural resources as well as in maintenance.
MyWell app has been developed as part of a project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research called MARVI or Managing Groundwater Use and Sustaining Aquifer Recharge through Village-level Interventions. The volunteer’s provide information on groundwater level in their villages and provide regular data for the app, which is uploaded iveon the mobile application for all tosee
MeraBhujal app provides ground water resources information for users current/desired location
including annual ground water availability and withdrawal. Stage of ground water withdrawal and suggestions to augment the ground water, ground water quality information ,contact information of Central Ground Water Board offices across India and contact information of various other agencies working for ground water augmentation and conservation.
This is not a sponsored post neither is the list of apps exhaustive. This is to present usefullness of digital technology in water conservation
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