A sustainable water management solution created with the community and for the community


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?

54% of India faces high water stress

42% of the country’s cultivable land lies in drought-prone areas/districts

6% loss in country’s GDP by 2050, if the current state of water crisis continues

Context of water crisis

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.

Current challenges in existing water management solutions

  • The current addressable issue in the water governance tools is their inadequacy of bringing scattered data onto a single platform for the community who are its users.
  • Information and decision-making are highly centralized leaving little scope for the community to participate and engage in developing water resilience.
  • Lack of comprehensive collaborative approach in tackling water crisis.

Our approach towards innovating & developing a solution

To create a solution that can achieve the goal and address all the challenges we followed a process of Ideation, Validation and Co-creation

  • Discovery and Ideation: To make a solution that can address the community needs and solve the on-ground gaps we visited different types of villages that were at different stages of their water management journey. This immersion helped us understand some key community needs to manage water which are consolidating village-level data, bringing the status of water availability and demand to the community, and enabling foresightedness to promote community participation.
  • Co-creation: The understanding gained through field immersion was stitched together into a solution which was co-created by engaging with a diverse set of stakeholders like village community, World bank hosted water resource group 2030, government bodies, (viz GSDA, WRD) CSRs like Tata trust and John Deere and NGO’s like Yuva Mitra and CARD. These engagements helped us create an effective, inclusive, and multi-stakeholder water governance tool.
  • Validation: The solution thus created was tested through a set of experiments and pilots in various villages of Nashik and Pune districts along with NGOs and government bodies. The results of the pilot were reviewed by domain experts, geologists, and the community.

Solutions we are offering

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:

  • Triangulating data from different sources.
  • Showcase the status of water availability and use in a village
  • Empowering local authorities and users with data analytics
  • Assisting gram panchayat with advisories and simulations on water management
  • Aiding the on-ground team with expert guidance and community mobilization enablers like videos ,contents for posters etc.

Readiness of the MIDAS platform

Primary data collection: A list of primary data like crops grown, well water etc. would be collected by the field workers appointed by the NGO

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.

Satellite data collections: As the primary data is collected the system consolidates the data from various satellites

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.

Water bodies detected in a village named Wadner
Land usage classified for a village named Konambe
Slope map processed for a village named Konambe

Secondary data/Government data collection: These include primarily the static data and the historical data

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.

Web dashboard: for the authority to view water balance and plan intervention.

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.

Android dashboard for the gram panchayat to view water balance and optimize their demand through advisories that act like early warning systems.

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.

Possible potential of the solution for policy makers

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.

Business strategy

Our approach to scale lies in the following two go to market strategies


  • Target Customer: NGO’s & CSR’s
  • Target market: Number of NGO’s working in water in India: 7335


  • Target Customer: Govt. initiatives like ABHY, Jal Jeevan mission, Swajal
  • Target Market: ~10000 villages with critical to over exploited levels of groundwater


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 offerOffering 1Offering 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
• Reports
• 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
Expert Consultancy
• 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.


Piyush Bhandarkar

Operations Lead

Rishabh Ravichandran

Business lead

Ayan Barua

Design Lead

Mihir Palav

Technical Lead