Clean drinking water is not a privilege for most people in India. Tap water is exceedingly impure, rivers are getting more polluted on a daily basis and a regular supply of ‘safe’ water is too expensive for a large section of society. With summer nearly upon us, a social and environmental start-up called Decentrik Technologies has come up with a solution for rural India, India as whole in fact, in the form of a mobile Water ATM.
The concept is pretty self-explanatory—it is quite literally a machine that dispenses water, on the move. Known as ‘Waah’, the ATM will supply 250 ml of clean drinking water for INR 2. It will follow standards set by the World Health Organization, and help curb plastic pollution with their recyclable paper glasses, a move that will help reduce about 1,500 to 3,500 kilograms of plastic waste. Their effort to be a smart roadside substitute of packaged drinking water was well-received by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, who then gave them a sum of INR 50 lakh as seed funding.
‘Waah’ will have real-time displays of their water quality, and a fail safe technology that will automatically shut down the unit in case of a breach in set standards. Already launched in Lucknow and Varanasi, this could perhaps be a solution to water shortages and clean drinking water problems faced across the nation.
While this initiative is definitely great, it isn’t the first time we’ve been introduced to the concept of a water ATM. Certain Indian villages have stepped up, and introduced these ATMs within their localities, to curb their own water problems. The citizens of Borze, a village in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, set up the ‘ATW’ or Any Time Water, and in some cases, students too decided to help out through a project called Jal Jeevan, which set up water ATMs in rural areas across the country.