In 2014, Madhav Dawre, a farmer in Sinnar tehsil of Maharashtra, along with many others, had to abandon his land and move to the city in search of other jobs due to water scarcity. In June 2019, Chennai, a city on the southeastern coast, made headlines when the city officials declared “Day zero” had arrived. As per the world bank by 2030, 21 other cities all over India will run out of all water. Our ever-increasing demand and the changing climate are exacerbating water scarcity. Droughts are more recurring, groundwater is depleting, sustaining drinking water during summer is harder than ever, and these will continue if we don’t react quickly and start managing water optimally. But if the solution to all these problems was just managing water, then why haven’t we been able to do that?
Around 70% of the fresh water in India is used in the agricultural sector. Managing this water is critical in our country and could potentially generate a wide array of benefits for economic growth and for the communities that rely on agriculture as a livelihood. But managing water does not just mean increasing the supply. It can be seen in the figure below that only increasing the supply of water by building conservation structures is a temporary solution to this water crisis. As supply increases, so does demand as farmers shift to water-intensive crops. Thus, there lies a need to manage watersheds while maintaining a key balance between supply and demand.
To create a solution that can achieve the goal and address all the challenges we followed a process of Ideation, Validation and Co-creation
Our solution MIDAS (Model of Interactive Decision Assistance Simulator ) is a multi-stakeholder water management platform that ensures participatory and sustainable water management. Our uniqueness lies in our approach to support various water management initiatives started by government, NGOs or CSRs through the technology enabled end-to-end service .The steps involved in the service are as follows:
Readiness The data collected would be fed into a web based form as shown below which would be then stored in our database. The database needs to be now hosted on a central cloud server.
Value proposition: An organized structure is created for the primary data collection. All the data that was once either recorded manually or in a bundle of many excel sheets are now stored digitally at one place.
Readiness: The algorithms to retrieve and process the satellite images are developed. Some of the results have also been ratified with credible alternate sources.
Value proposition: Quicker access to near real time data. Solves the problem of insufficient data availability in isolated communities
Rainfall: CHIRPS satellite was used for daily precipitation data. Percentage deviation from on-ground data was seen to be 12%.
Detection of water bodies: Nearly 90% accuracy in detecting the various water bodies in a village. The water bodies were further classified into categories like ponds, dams etc. This classification had an accuracy of 42%. Other data like land-use type, runoff, soil moisture were also computed using remote sensing. Below are some of the results obtained through satellite images.
Readiness: All the static data like the hydrological properties, crop growth stages etc. and historical data like the groundwater level are consolidated and stored in our database. The datasets mentioned are calibrated only for the state of Maharashtra.
Value proposition: With the datasets calibrated as per the agro-climatic conditions of Maharashtra, the results would be much closer to the reality.
Readiness: With all the computational algorithms built the data consolidated is converted into analytics and is displayed on web dashboard as shown below. The dashboard is still being tested with our users and hence not publicly available.
Value proposition: The dashboard acts as a performance metric. Helps water providers better understand their community and take effective decisions. And creates more meaningful baseline performance objectives, which in turn supports planned growth activities.
Readiness: The APK version of the android dashboard is ready and is being tested with few village communities. The version is available in English and Marathi languages.
Value proposition: The platform acts like a digital water board which initiates community discussion. Advisories strengthen their decision making and foresightedness is instilled through the simulations.
Provide decision makers with targeted ideas for any given community, this will help in refining their program guidelines
Color coding of all the villages in a district as per its extent of water shortage will surely help authorities prioritizing investments
Integrating different data like groundwater, surface water, rainwater would lead to planning for diverse set of water sources.
Our approach to scale lies in the following two go to market strategies
SAAS based model to be followed. License fee to be charged for platform annually. Value-based costing for other services like personalized guidance would be implemented on a per village basis during commercialization
|Services to offer||Offering 1||Offering 2|
|Technology as a service|
• Data triangulation and automation using remote sensing
• Mobile and web dashboards for GP and authorities
|Community mobilization kit|
• Personalized videos
• Provide content to the on-ground teams to display the
information as posters, water board, etc.
|Primary Data Collection Kit|
• Standardized guidelines for procuring primary data
• Personalized guidance from water expert
• On field presence of experts for location-specific supply side
Our solution would contribute towards the following UN Sustainable Development Goals.