The Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) will set up sensor-based internet of things (IoT) devices to effectively monitor the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in more than six lakh villages.
The National Jal Jeevan Mission, in collaboration with Tata Community Initiatives Trust and Tata Trusts, recently completed pilot projects in several remote villages in five states—Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
An important feature of these pilot projects has been the use of simple yet sturdy sensors, which makes the solution scalable and sustainable, MoJS told the media. One of the key challenges posed to the team was to develop a robust solution at a fraction of the water infrastructure costs (less than 10 to 15% of total scheme capex) without compromising on quality or functionality. These costs are expected to go down further at scale.
The majority of the vendors, including manufacturers, are Indian companies. The pilot projects went live in September 2020, the government told the media.
The IoT-based remote monitoring provides near real-time information without any manual intervention by using sensors. This would allow effective monitoring and management on-ground and enable real-time visibility to state water supply or Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) officials and citizens, said the government.
Data will drive improvement in service delivery and instil transparency for a precious natural asset such as water. The pilot projects have led to several outcomes as it has helped identify distribution issues such as outages, leakages, low pressure, etc. and led to resolution across sites.
It recently alerted both officials and the community regarding fast depleting groundwater levels, which led the villagers to build a source strengthening the structure to recharge their borewell. Other benefits observed include efficient and responsible use of water by the community and reduced cost of operations through data-enabled leak detection, predictive maintenance, and automation.
Drinking water supply systems in Indian villages face multiple challenges of drying up of groundwater sources, pump failures, irregular and inadequate water supply, etc.
JJM is the government’s flagship program, which is being implemented in partnership with states/UTs to provide tap water connection to every rural household by 2024 envisions creating a Digital Wall and Remote Command and Control Centre for monitoring and managing supply of prescribed quality water in adequate quantity (55 liters per capita per day - LPCD) every day through household tap connections across all rural villages.