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Agritech Case Study Series: Groundwater Monitoring Sensors Network by Urdhvam

Blog Post created by NASSCOM Community on Mar 14, 2018

BASIC DETAILS

Product Name: Groundwater Monitoring Sensors Network

Name of Organization: Urdhvam Environmental Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

At the helm: Rahul Bakare , CEO & Founder

Year of Incorporation: 2013

Website: www.urdhvam.com   

Core technology used: Internet of Things ( IoT)

 

PROJECT DETAILS

 

 1. Tell us about your product/solution in brief.

 

Groundwater- Background

Groundwater is ubiquitous and can be tapped everywhere and unlike surface water it can be developed by an individual farmer in his own backyard with small investments. Groundwater irrigation demonstrates greater drought resilience and provides water during dry season when other surface water sources dry up. Therefore, there is a great diversity observed in the groundwater irrigated areas as compared to the surface water irrigated areas. There is emerging evidence that groundwater development has taken place in low to moderate rainfall areas with average annual rainfall of 400 mm to 1000 mm which has led to severe groundwater crisis. Hence, the crisis of ground water overexploitation has a large overlap with areas receiving low to moderate rainfall.

 

Ground water usage in India:

  • Nearly 80% of India’s total water use being in agriculture and with 60-70% of irrigation coming from groundwater
  • About 90% of India’s 641000 villages depend upon groundwater to meet drinking water demand.
    • About 60% of these villages have potential competition between domestic and agriculture usage!
    • With 50% share of the urban water supply, groundwater resources are already under competition & conflict vis-a-vis Urban-Rural-Industrial use

 

Glaring gaps in ground water management: 

  1. Lack of Aquifer data and hence poor understanding of situation
  2. Aquifer mapping is a highly specialized function
  3. “Invisible” resource hence Common Property Rights principles difficult to understand
  4. No Demand Regulation hence over exploitation
  5. Lack of Trained GW Paraprofessionals
  6. Livelihood at stake hence sensitive
  7. Focus Mostly on Supply Augmentation
  8. Lack of Community Participation
  9. Regulations non existent
  10. Drinking water not given due priority
  11. Lack of policy on groundwater

 

Why Groundwater is Over Exploited: 

  1. Lack of understanding of the resource as it is invisible
  2. End Users, especially farmers, are unaware of the science and behavior
  3. Geology is too diverse and changes spatially
  4. Not too many trained professional Hydrogeologists to demystify and mapping
  5. Not mainstreamed in the academics
  6. Increasing population, consumptive economy and demand for water

 

2. What is the issue / pain point that your product / solution addresses ?

 

  • 80% Population of India depends on Groundwater for Domestic, Agricultural and Industrial Use
  • India has more than 45 Million Wells & Borewells for Groundwater Extraction
  • Most of the rivers in India originate as and are fed by Springs which arise out of Groundwater
  • Overexploitation of Groundwater is leading to Water Stress resulting into
    • Loss of Agriculture Production
    • Increased Vulnerability of Industrial Outputs
    • Drinking Water scarcity
    • Drinking Water Quality Issues such as Fluoride, Salinity, Arslenic, etc.
    • Saline Sea Water Intrusion
    • Distress Migration of People due to Droughts
    • Socio-Economic Issues such as Farmer Suicides, etc.
    • Deforestation, loss of habitat and species

 

Main Reasons for Overexploitation of Groundwater : Lack of Predictability

  • Lack of understanding of this invisible but most important water resource leads to over extraction resulting into over exploitation
  • End Users, especially farmers, are not able to predict borewell yields in non-rainy seasons and hence loss of farm productivity and production
  • No affordable tools such as sensors and prediction techniques available to stakeholders that can predict groundwater behavior

 

 3. Mention the geographic area where your solution is implemented and give us details of the intervention.

Current State : Prototyped Product undergoing Field Tests in Maharashtra

 

4. What was the objective of the project and how much of it was achieved?

Demystification and Visualization of invisible and unpredictable resource of groundwater for using affordable sensors which would predict groundwater behaviour and aid as decision support system for the end users. The pilot is going on with great success. 

 

5. Give details of the cost of your solution and scope of scalability

Concept:  

Demystification and Visualization of invisible and unpredictable resource of groundwater for using affordable sensors which would predict groundwater behavior and aid as decision support system for the end users.

  • Harnessing the power of mobiles, internet penetration in Urban and Rural India, we have developed “Internet of Things” ( IoT) based Sensors that are affordable and reliable
  • Using our sensors well owners and groundwater professionals can see the current water level, water level over time, when pumping occurs, how much water is pumped out and the information can be compared with previous periods and other factors such as rainfall, temperature, etc.
  • The Sensor takes groundwater level readings from inside of a open/bore well and passes these readings to Cloud via GPRS, telephony network
  • Registered users using Mobile based App can visualize the groundwater behavior
  • Using predictive analysis the well owner can see the future behavior of the well
  • If installed in a networked manner, a township/industry/village can manage its groundwater resources better
  • These sensors would send across frequent and accurate data about aquifer behavior to the stakeholders in a friendly User Interface on their mobiles and in their mother tongue
  • This understanding would lead to judicious and sustainable use of Groundwater thereby avoiding over exploitation

 

 

 

Farmer’s View of Sensor Data:

 

Analytics based on GIS platform for large scale sensor network

 

 

Market Segmentation:

  • Rural : Farmers, Gram Panchayats (Local Self Government) , sugar mills, farmer producer organizations, farmer co-operatives
    • Through : CSRs, Agri Consultants, NGOs, NABARD, WhatsApp Groups, Direct Selling
    • Using: Videos, Pilots,
  • Urban : Housing societies, residents, environmentalists, Municipal corporations, Townships
  • Industrial : Food Processing, Corporate farming, all groundwater dependent units, Educational institutes, Hotels & Resorts

 

6. Are you looking for partners? Mention details of partnership.

 

Yes, We are looking for connects with NGOs, CSRs, Farmer Collectives, FPOs, Industries, Industry Associations such as NASSCOM, FICCI, CII, etc.

 

We have the founder Rahul Bakare with us here. If you have any questions or partnership ideas, post in comments. 

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