Piramal Foundation Leverages Internet of Things (IoT) to Sustain Water Resources across India

Piramal Foundation Leverages Internet of Things (IoT) to Sustain Water Resources across India

Piramal Foundation and Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) of Madhya Pradesh at a summit in the city today, deliberated on implementing effective solutions to enable sustainability of water resources through innovative use of technology. The summit saw national experts speak on ‘Source Sustainability’ and discuss its application in the Madhya Pradesh. The inaugural session was attended by Shri Sukhdev Panse, Hon’ble Minister PHED; Shri Sanjay Shukla, Principal Secretary PHED; Mr. Anuj Sharma, CEO, Piramal Sarvajal and Shri Rajendra Hardenia, Senior Social Activist – Water Management amongst other prominent experts and government officials from across the country.

Speaking on the initiative, Shri Sukhdev Panse, Hon’ble Minister PHED said, “This has been a fruitful initiative with experts brainstorming on impactful implementable solutions on Source Sustainability. Piramal Foundation’s IoT enabled Smart Stand Post that we will be piloting in the state holds a promise to the nation as a whole. We are confident that we can implement these learnings to bring about transformation at grassroots level.”

As per a recent report by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, a country is classified as water stressed and water scarce if per capita water availability goes below 1700m3 and 1000m3 respectively. With 1544m3 per capita water availability, India is already a water-stressed country and is moving towards becoming water scarce. Apart from the promotion of water conservation efforts for water resources availability and groundwater recharge, there should be an effective water management system linked with the performance of local level water institutions.

anuj sharma piramalMr. Anuj Sharma, CEO, Piramal Sarvajal said, “India accounts for ~17% of the world’s population and only 4% of the world’s fresh water resources. Due to an inefficient water resource management system and climate change, India faces a persistent water shortage. The urgent need of the hour is to implement solutions that can make safe drinking water easily available to all. With the use of technology such as Internet of Things (IoT) we can democratize water access, reduce water wastage and arrest unauthorized usage of water. While we implement new methods of recharging water resources, these measures would be able to distribute the precious resource in an equitable manner. A pilot will soon be demonstrated.”

Piramal Foundation today also launched the Smart Stand Post, a smart card based automated water dispensing unit that will soon be demonstrated at Swajal habitations. Unlike existing water units, Smart Stand Post will have 3 options for dispensing water free of charge from an overhead. This will allow access to multiple users at the same time but prevent unauthorized (without smart cards) users. Through IoT, the data from sensors will be captured and forwarded to a central server for remote monitoring.

The 4 key advantages of Smart Stand Post technology over conventional methods of water delivery are:

1)      Time Efficiency: Multiple users can access water simultaneously from a single unit

2)      Prevents Unauthorised Access: Restricted to authorised RFID card holders

3)      IoT enabled Real-time Monitoring: Allows for early intervention of resource availability and real time data collection of water dispensed

4)      Data Analysis: Enables analysis of water usage patterns to support better anticipation & planning

The 5 districts earmarked to Piramal Foundation in MP, to facilitate implementation of Swajal Scheme are Khandwa, Damoh, Barwani, Vidisha and Singrauli.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sanjay Shukla (IAS), Principal Secretary PHED in his key note address said, “PHED has been working with Piramal Foundation and other partners for implementing the Swajal schemes in the 7 Aspirational Districts of MP. I urge policymakers and key stakeholders to institutionalise sustainability structures to enable efficient source sustainability of water, that has so far been a challenge in drinking water programmes, historically.”

The summit today was on Source Sustainability and IoT (Internet of Things) in the Swajal Scheme of the Government. Swajal is a pilot project by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), that is designed as a demand driven and community centered program to provide access to safe drinking water on sustainable basis to people in rural areas. The scheme has been currently launched in 112 Aspirational Districts of India.

The summit had 2 panel discussions on water sustainability models and challenges of implementing them. The panels comprised of domain experts such as Dr. P.K. Jain (CGWB), Mr. Ajay Diwakar (PHED), Mr. Uday Patankar (GSDA Maharashtra) and amongst others.

Piramal Sarvajal through its innovative model, leverages technology to serve over 71,000 people daily in the state of Madhya Pradesh through its 90 Purification Units and 41 Water ATMs. Piramal Sarvajal, currently reaches out to 6.3 lac people daily, through over 1500 touch points across 20 states in India.