Jal Jeevan Mission(JJM) – An Union government mission aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. It can improve the quantity of good quality water for the long term at an affordable price.
The Jal Jeevan Mission will be based on a community approach to water and include extensive Information, education and communication as vital components of the mission. Due to the poor infrastructure, illegal connections, and operations and management in the transmission lines, the mission faces considerable hurdles to address these issues. Poor infrastructures and management can contaminate the drinking water, directly affecting people’s health. Water theft and inadequate maintenance can create a massive financial strain on the government. The question is, how have these problems started, and how can they be solved?
Let us discuss this in detail.
India records around 35- 40% of Non-Revenue Water(NRW), and some cities have more than 50% NRW, which creates enormous water stress. Loss, theft, or contamination can occur at various stages in the entire water distribution. In India, most of the water pipelines are aged around 30 years. So, the chances of defects risks are comparatively high. Leaks, scaling, corrosion, sludge formation, encrustations, etc., are the most common defects in the distribution system. It plays a significant role in the increase of NRW. This creates water loss as well as financial loss. Sometimes, the maintenance team will shut down the whole pipeline system to detect and repair the defects. We need a timely audit in the pipelines to notify and locate the defects to notice this fault. Time plays a key role. The sooner the defect is detected, the lower the loss is. But the challenge is localising the exact defect location, and the situation becomes arduous when the pipeline is underground. Some technology like pressure measurement can identify defects, but that does not ensure the entire fault and types. So, we generally proceed manually, which requires a tremendous amount of time to detect and resolve the defects. This supply consumes a lot of time and places a high cost on repairing or fixing the defects.
However, the mission is also aimed to provide safe and adequate drinking water on a 24/7 basis. But the challenge is if the operation and management problems exist, it will be a significant concern for the government to address them. Even in some major cities, people throw dram and several garbage items. The most needed solutions are creating awareness about water and its distribution systems and proper training for the community people.
For this, our team from Solinas Integrity Pvt Ltd, an IITM incubated startup with its Alumni and Professors, researched this problem and developed a robot ENDOBOT that can inspect pipelines above 50mm. The innovation of robotics in pipeline management and condition assessment can benefit by reducing a considerable amount of money involved in the cost of repair and reducing the amount of time involved in auditing.
This initiative helps in the 24/7 water distribution and improves the employment rate by creating new opportunities for people’s growth.
Through this initiative, 6 lakh villages and pani samitis/VWSCs have constituted around 3.5 lakh villages. More than 7.1 lakh women have been trained to test water quality using field tests. A significant and visionary initiative could benefit the whole country by providing 24/7 safe drinking water, is now active in some major cities. Sooner, JJM will provide a 24/7 water supply to each household in the country.