New Delhi: A Jharkhand-based start-up company, Kristnam Technology, incubated by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, has received monetary support of ₹3.29 crore from the Central Government to develop smart water management technologies.
The start-up company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Technology Development Board (TDB) under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to develop technology for production and commercialisation of Dhaara Smart Metre. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology Jitendra Singh was present during signing of the agreement on Wednesday.
Under the agreement, Kristnam Technologies Pvt Ltd would initially focused on manufacturing smart metering equipment for commercial users. The Minister said that the new technique could be a game changer in effectively monitoring & controlling the ground water exploitation across country in future.
The Minister was apprised that the start-up is developing ‘Dhaara Smart Flowmeter’ – an integrated system for online monitoring using two beam ultrasonic flowmeters that is designed to track the water distribution in real-time for applications such as drinking water supply, ground water extraction, industrial water usage and precision irrigation.
The device collects data through sensors, stores it in the device, and transmits to the online cloud servers and thereafter the data transmitted to servers is analysed and displayed in the dashboard. This unique solution is a combination of hardware & software for flow measurement and water management respectively.
Singh said that Dhaara Smart Flow Meter will greatly benefit Prime Minister Modi’s Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal), a ₹6,000 crore Central Sector Scheme, for sustainable management of ground water resources with community participation. The scheme is being implemented in 80 water stressed districts and 8,565 Gram Panchayats of seven States like Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh from April 2020 for a period of five years.
What is Dhaara Smart Flow Meter?
It is battery operated equipment that does not require external power. The hardware architecture is based on the internet of things (IoT) communication circuits which is patented in India. In addition, it complies with ISO and Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) standards. The water usage data is automatically recorded in an online logbook through telemetry via 4G/2G. The built-in telemetry and battery-operated capabilities make it easy for users to monitor their water consumption virtually anywhere (even when the power is out). The product being developed initially aims at commercial users like hotels, hospitals, malls, IT parks, schools, colleges and industrial users (food products, packaged drinking water, pharmaceuticals, paper & pulp etc.).
It may be recalled that the CGWA issued guidelines under which every commercial ground water user must install a smart water meter and pay yearly bills. All the project proponents/users drawing ground water and seeking/having NOC shall have to mandatorily install tamper-proof digital water flow meters with telemetry on all the ground water abstraction structures within their premises.
Ground Water depleting across country
Ground water levels in various parts of the country are declining because of continuous withdrawal due to reasons such as increased demand of fresh water for various uses, vagaries of rainfall, increase in population, industrialization and urbanization etc. As per the assessment of Dynamic Ground Water Resources (2017) carried out by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) in collaboration with States/UTs, out of the total 6,881 assessment units (Block/ Taluks/ Mandals/ watersheds/ Firkas) in the country, 1,186 units in 17 States/UTs have been categorized as ‘over-exploited’ where ‘Annual Ground Water Extraction’ is more than ‘Annual Extractable Ground Water Resource’.
TDB Secretary Rajesh Kumar Pathak said, “Water is essential to all humankind & the ground water is dominant source of drinking water but the pace at which the ground water is depleting is alarming. Govt of India is taking urgent steps needed to replenish the ground water level through water harvesting technologies as well as planned & controlled ground water extraction. ‘Dhaara Smart Flow Meter’ from startup ‘Kritsnam’ would be a great addition to this endeavour. The smart meter has been designed in such a way that, it can perform ground water management with real time processing, even without electricity”.