Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is planning to set up 280 water ATMs across the various unauthorised colonies in Delhi. In fact, DJB has been awarded the Water Digest Water Award under the category of Best Water Management—Public Sector for the year 2014-15 for its success in setting up of water ATMs in Savda Ghevra. It was the success of Savda Ghevra that has encouraged DJB to replicate the model in other parts of the city.
Basic Objective: To reduce the water scarcity problem in the city
There is no denying the fact that the capital city faces a severe water crisis almost throughout the year, especially during the summer months. With the increase in the number of unauthorised colonies, the demand for water is also increasing. To reduce this shortage of water problem, DJB has announced recently the setting up of water ATMs in various parts of the city.
Success story of water ATMs in Savda Ghevra in West Delhi
DJB started its pilot project by setting up water ATMs at 15 locations in Savda Ghevra, a resettlement colony in West Delhi in the beginning of 2015. These ATMs are solar-powered and a decentralised drinking water plant based on reverse osmosis has been set up in this area to provide pure water through these ATMs. There are two ATMs in the plant itself and the rest 13 ATMs are located at various locations within the colony. This project has become a huge success in the Savda Ghevra location and residents are withdrawing water through the ATMs using smart cards called the Sarvajal cards at the cost of 30 paisa per litre. The project has also earned appreciation from the Queen of the Netherlands in her visit to Delhi. There are at least 7,500 families in Savda Ghera and at present, nearly 850 families are using the facility located in South West Delhi. These water kiosks were installed in this colony by the Piramal Foundation, the philanthropic branch of Piramal Group.
How water ATMs work?
All water-ATMs are powered by solar energy. They are connected to the main server via cloud computing. A decentralised water plant is set up as the main plant that purifies the water through reverse osmosis and a tanker filled with 500 litre of pure water is installed on the top of each ATM. People draw water from these ATMs using smart cards. These smart cards can be recharged at the main treatment plant. Whenever the level of water in any of the tanker reduces to 200 litres, a message is sent to the main server automatically and these tanks are again refilled. At one point of time, a customer can withdraw up to 20 litres of water.
The Planning Process
To set up 280 ATMS in varied locations, DJB has plans of setting up 29 decentralisedreverse osmosis plants. These plants will be set up on the basis of a design, build, operational and transferable features, including finance. It won’t be possible to purify the water through RO system in all areas, especially the areas where the salinity of water is not very high. In such locations, another technology would be employed to treat water. So far DJB is waiting for tenders from various organisations to start with the project in full swing. DJB also approved a proposal to lay water distribution system in Batla House. At present, the water is provided to the colony through tube wells and water tankers. The cost of laying the internal water pipe lines is estimated to be Rs. 5 crore. The water ATMs will be set up by the DJB, in collaboration with the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).
How will water ATMs help?
- These ATMs will be set up in resettlement and unauthorised colonies where the people face the maximum shortage of water.
- Also, the concept of buying water will also ensure that people use water judiciously and do no waste it.
- The water ATMs will provide pure drinking water. The residents in such colonies at present do not get piped water supply and the groundwater is unfit for consumption.