Did you know that freshwater bodies make up to 70% of the Earth’s surface, but only 1% of that is available for human consumption?
The pace of human life paired with their ever-increasing demands, has led to wide-scale industrialization and agglomeration in urban centres. Water quality and preservation has been compromised owing to the tons of toxic waste being dumped into the natural and man-made water bodies. Studies by UN, WHO, and CBD also quote a dilapidating state of affairs:
- 2.2 million people (approx) worldwide die each year from diarrhea; mostly children under five in developing countries. 88% of the deaths are attributed to unsafe water quality, sanitation, and hygiene.
- 2 million tons of sewage, industrial, and agricultural waste are discharged into the world’s waterways.
- Over 80% of the wastewater generated in developing countries is discharged without treatment into surface water bodies.
There is a growing momentum to address the traditional and emerging threats to our nation’s water resources. Although the government has introduced certain schemes and policies to reduce water pollution and encourage wastewater treatment to get rid of pollutants – none of them have witnessed thorough execution or definite results.
What is the alternative?
As technologies are paving the way to a more sustainable future, people and organizations are devising water-saving technologies. These technologies not only help conserve water but also make them safe for consumption. While infiltration technologies like RO’s are widely used in every household to transform hard water safe for consumption – research on chemical properties is paving the way to use data and build groundbreaking technologies.
Few organizations in India that are revolutionizing the path to improve water quality by integrating technology and data are
India-WRIS is a centralized government platform that aims to disseminate data through a comprehensive and authoritative list of India’s water resources. WRIS utilizes technologies like GIS and Remote Sensing to map, evaluate, and manage water management systems. These sources provide a collection of standardized data that allows people to search, access, visualize, understand, and analyze them for risk assessment, monitoring, planning, and development. This data ensures awareness among people and stakeholders about the state of water resources and the need for effective management by attracting attention to water quality, quantity, and security.
Founded by Mr. K Sri Harsha, this Kanpur based startup aims to develop data-driven water management techniques through real-time data. The startup collects data by developing cost-effective and tailor-made technologies such as continuous water level instruments, continuous pipe flow meters, and handheld water quality instruments. These not only gauge the depth of underground water but also monitor quality for tanks, lakes, canals, etc. Data collected from the devices are utilized to generate advisories for various stakeholders like farmers, irrigation departments, dam operators, municipal corporations, NGOs, industries, and research institutes.
Hence, up and coming government bodies, as well as private organizations, are devising ways to eliminate water pollution and make water fit for human consumption through data monitoring and innovative technologies.