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Solving India's Water Crisis with New Technology

By Lucy Clarke · September 23, 2022
India Panorama

Why is India experiencing a water crisis?

India is currently facing a major water crisis and in fact India is considered to be the epicentre of the global water crisis and sanitation crisis. However, India’s water crisis isn’t due to the fact that India experiences long droughts and a lack of rainfall. In fact, India’s water crisis is largely down to structural mismanagement of the available water resources. The scale and intensity of India’s water crisis mean that it’s not a problem that can be solved by simple solutions - like handing out water bottles. Instead, dynamic solutions are needed to combat this crisis. One of the major ways that the water crisis can be solved is through new technologies and innovations. 

What are some projects India has utilised in the past?

One of the reasons that India is facing such a colossal water crisis is due to appalling management by governmental bodies. One of the ways to combat this is to collect better data on the population and water usage. Since the mid-1990s there have been two data collecting schemes and the government is currently carrying out a third data collecting scheme, which is due to be completed in 2024. While the previous projects relied on data being collected by individuals and then manually fed into the system, the new project hopes to remedy these issues. By utilising censors instead of relying on individuals to measure water usage, the government can better measure how much water there is in India’s lakes, reservoirs and rivers. These sensors will also be used to track underground water too. 

Is it possible for AI to resolve India’s water crisis?

New technologies and AI are steadily becoming one of the ways to combat the Indian water crisis. Alongside better water management, AI could really be the answer to a lot of India’s water problems.  

Detecting Leaks

AI can be used to detect leaks, and water wastage can be tracked and reduced. Hydrophone sensors can be used in fire hydrants and can record any leaks or unusual activity, allowing engineers to more effectively repair and maintain the water system. 

Limiting Usage

By using smart water meters in households, consumers can easily track water consumption. They can be quickly notified when their water usage is about to hit a threshold. Smart water meters allow consumers to become more educated on water usage and water waste. This would also allow households to pay their water bills exactly in accordance with how much water they have used. 

Forecasting Groundwater Reserve

It’s important to be able to forecast groundwater reserves for effective water usage in agriculture. Scientists have used a variety of models to predict the depth of Ejina Basin located in inner Mongolia. These models provide them with lots of data and information on the amount of water available in the Ejina Basin, allowing the scientists to predict the groundwater depth at the basin. 

Improving Water Quality 

AI can also be used to improve water quality. The deterioration of water quality can lead to waterborne diseases, which can have fatal consequences. According to WHO, over 2 billion people are affected by contaminated water. AI can be used to detect contamination in pipes and can automatically send notifications to indicate that the pipes need repairing. 

What other new technologies can help India’s Water Crisis?

There are some other new technologies that can really help alleviate or solve India’s water crisis. 

Water Seer

A water seer is ideal for rural communities that have poor access to water. A water seer will obtain water from its surroundings - allowing water to be created from thin air! The water can be then collected underwater and can be extracted using a water pump for daily use. Water seers can be installed anywhere, and can produce up to 10 gallons of water per day. 

Low-Cost Water Filtration

Filtering water has a much lower cost than transporting clean drinking water across the country. In areas of shortage, low-cost water filtration can be an effective way to generate clean drinking water. 

Water Wheel 

A water wheel is hardly a new invention but it is an effective way to manage water supplies. By constantly rotating the water supply, this avoids insects and other organisms from growing in stagnant water - allowing for a more sanitary water supply. 

Digitisation of Water Supply 

It’s always a good idea to implement ways to monitor water usage to ensure that water wastage is really kept to a minimum. By adding a digital meter and tap card on all communal water pumps and sources of water, communities can easily measure how much water is being used. The tap card will account for daily limits and only allow more water to be used in the case of emergencies. This is also a solution which can be used in urban areas as well as rural areas because water wastage is much higher in cities and towns than the countryside. 

Indian dad

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