Home Inspirational IAS Officer Makes use of IoT to Elevate Water Provide, Reduce Payments by 40% in 16 Villages

IAS Officer Makes use of IoT to Elevate Water Provide, Reduce Payments by 40% in 16 Villages

IAS Officer Makes use of IoT to Elevate Water Provide, Reduce Payments by 40% in 16 Villages


Erode district, which lies within the western a part of Tamil Nadu, is a area characterised by restricted rainfall, dry local weather and erratic water provide. For the roughly 11 lakh residents of the district who reside in its rural areas (as per 2011 Census), this irregular water provide is a good greater concern.

In accordance with the district administration, whereas the agricultural water demand within the district is 74 MLD (million litres a day), the water equipped is roughly 40 to 55 LPCD (litres per capita per day).

“This water is equipped from the Kaveri and Bhavani rivers by 20 Mixed Water Provide Schemes (i.e. water from rivers) aside from native borewell sources. At present, most villages in Erode district and elsewhere depend on overhead tanks (OHTs) for his or her water provide, sourced both from borewells or infiltration wells in close by rivers,” explains District Collector (DC) Raja Gopal Sunkara, a 2015-batch IAS officer, in a dialog with The Higher India.

DC Sunkara goes on to clarify that within the Erode district, there are over 4,700 Over Head Tanks (OHTs) in rural areas whereas the variety of tank operators is just 299.

As a result of reliance on tank operators, he explains the next issues have been being confronted:

1) Excessive water losses: “In most villages, we see overflowing OHTs for the reason that motors are usually not switched off on time,” explains DC Sunkara.

2) Unreliable timings of water provide: Since tank operators need to manually handle OHTs, water provide timings change from everyday relying on their availability and punctuality.

3) Excessive electrical energy invoice for the native physique: “Because the motors are usually not switched off on time, the electrical energy payments of villages improve,” he notes.

4) Dry Run: Motors get broken when they’re run with out water within the sump.

As Okay Renuva Devi, the Panchayat president of Kuttapalayam village explains, “Earlier, we have been depending on the tank operator, who used to manually function the gate valves and motor pumps. There was once overflow from the tanks.”

To deal with these failings of the OHT water provide system in Erode district, DC Sunkara has put in IoT gadgets in 50 habitations throughout 16 villages, which the district administration claims haven’t solely lowered electrical energy payments by roughly 40% but additionally elevated water provide by over 20%.

DC Raja Gopal Sunkara's decision to employ IoT has addressed key concerns associated with the OHT water supply system.
DC Raja Gopal Sunkara’s determination to make use of IoT has addressed key considerations related to the OHT water provide system.

Discovering IoT options

Earlier than his present posting as DC of Erode in Might 2023, DC Sunkara — a dual-degree holder from IIT-Kharagpur — labored as a commissioner within the neighbouring Coimbatore metropolis municipal company the place a 24/7 water provide scheme was being carried out, and as govt director of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Provide and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB).

In each these roles, he acquired a deeper understanding of water provide methods, however predominantly in city settings. “Following my posting in Erode, I organised common inspections to garner a better understanding of the size of the agricultural water distribution downside,” he notes.

To sort out these points, the administration put in IoT gadgets with the next options:

1. Tank-level alerts offering real-time updates on water ranges within the sumps and the OHT.

2. Automated pumping: As per this method, water is mechanically pumped to the OHT from the sump, with a semi-automatic choice for particular events.

3. Scheduled water provide: Timings could be preset and valves open mechanically.

4. Overflow Prevention: Set up of automated mechanisms to cease overflow.

5. Complete knowledge on water amount and timings, enhancing accountability.

In accordance with DC Sunkara, “This IoT system has already been efficiently carried out in 63 OHTs in 50 habitations in Erode district, leading to vital advantages — equivalent to lowered motor working time, decrease electrical energy payments, and minimised water wastage. Extra importantly, the reliability of water provide to the general public has seen a outstanding enchancment; thus assuaging the burden on girls who usually spend appreciable time ready close to faucets.”

“The initiative prices roughly Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh per OHT, and has been principally taken up below the village panchayat basic fund or fifteenth Central Finance Fee (CFC) funds. After the preliminary successes, we’re engaged on putting in it in 150 OHTs in Har Ghar Jal villages (all households in that village are supplied with faucet water provide) utilizing these funds together with the District Mineral Basis funds, Company Surroundings Accountability funds, and so on,” he provides.

Residents in rural parts of Erode are dependent on the OHT water supply system.
Residents in rural components of Erode are depending on the OHT water provide system.

How does this know-how work?

“A linear degree sensor pushes tank degree alerts to the IoT Grasp Controller, triggering the pump and inlet valve to make sure OHT filling when water ranges are low,” explains DC Sunkara.

As soon as the required degree is reached, the motor switches off, and the inlet valve closes. The outlet valve operates mechanically based mostly on pre-set schedules. Actual-time knowledge generated from these features is saved in AWS Cloud and could be accessed by the iNeer cellular app by stakeholders.

“Complete knowledge on water amount and timings are collected in real-time by the sensors, which is made out there on a cellular software to native public representatives like Panchayat presidents, tank operators, councillors, and so on. The cellular software known as iNeer, (out there on Google Play Retailer) supplies insights into consumption patterns and operational effectivity,” he says.

“Primarily based on suggestions from the stakeholders, the cellular software has been redesigned to make it very user-friendly. The influence on residents is mirrored in improved water availability, dependable water timings, lowered ready time, higher water strain and total comfort,” he provides.

To verify this method works, DC Sunkara notes how pilots have been taken up in Kumaravalasu, Kuttapalayam and Ponmudi village panchayats below the management of Panchayat presidents.

“The preliminary findings of those pilots have been very encouraging,” he shares. However the administration did encounter challenges in the course of the pilot/testing course of together with technical glitches and making certain compatibility with present infrastructure.

“In the course of the pilot stage, we deliberate for an electrical energy board (EB) provide for the IoT controllers and motorised valves. The controllers needed to be chosen accordingly. The controllers acquired broken throughout voltage fluctuations and lightning occasions. We then launched a solar energy provide with battery backup. The specs for wattage, and so on have been finalised after loads of trial and error,” he explains, including, “At every stage, it was a studying course of for us.”

Different implementation challenges included upkeep points and the necessity for steady monitoring, requiring collaboration with tech specialists and common coaching for upkeep workers. 

In the meantime, public representatives like Panchayat presidents and Councillors have been additionally skilled in utilizing the app by which OHTs could be managed and knowledge could be seen. Suffice it to say, there was some scepticism in regards to the implementation of those IoT gadgets. 

“Preliminary scepticism was attributable to the price of the know-how and since there was no precedent to be taught from. Whereas Panchayat presidents of the pilot villages took on this experiment with open minds, the opposite presidents have been introduced on board by arranging visits to see the success of the initiative in pilot villages. This helped overcome this scepticism,” he provides.

IoT devices working in real-time.
IoT gadgets working in real-time.

Advantages to Rural Erode

How have these methods benefitted residents by way of lowered motor working time, decrease electrical energy payments, minimising water wastage and dependable water provide?

In Ponmudi village, for instance, the IoT system was put in in 10 OHTs.

In accordance with DC Sunkara, “The electrical energy models consumed fell from 35,930 (4 months earlier than set up) to 17,819 (4 months post-installation) — a drastic 50% lower. The electrical energy invoice fell from Rs 2,72,707 to Rs 1,67,001 for a similar interval — a 40% fall. In the meantime, the amount of water equipped per day elevated from 1.65 lakh litres to 2.09 lakh litres — further provide of 44,180 litres. These financial savings can be utilized for offering different facilities to the general public. The outcomes for Ponmudi have been mirrored in different villages too.”

As Renuva Devi, Panchayat president of Kuttapalayam village additionally notes, “Now, we aren’t depending on the tank operator. Water is mechanically equipped to the general public at pre-set timings. There have hardly been any complaints concerning water provide from the general public. Mounted amount is being equipped for a hard and fast timing after which, there are water financial savings.”

These methods additionally helped alleviate the burden on girls — significantly from households with no direct water provide connections who usually spend a very long time ready close to faucets.

“In our society, the burden of fetching water falls on girls. Water is equipped by family connections or public fountains in rural areas. Those that don’t have these connections or who are usually not getting sufficient portions of water by such connections have been both pressured to buy water within the personal market or wait at public fountains. The burden on girls was additional aggravated due to unreliable water provide timings. They must wait at odd timings and for lengthy intervals for water,” informs DC Sunkara.

He additional explains, “Out of 4,18,981 households, 3,56,101 have connections below the Jal Jeevan Mission, and works are ongoing for giving practical family faucet connections to all.”

Villages in Erode district are now benefitting from timely water supply.
Villages in Erode district are actually benefitting from well timed water provide.

Kalaiselvi, a 32-year-old resident of Ponmudi village, notes, “Earlier, water provide in our village was problematic. It was managed by a waterman (tank operator). He would change on the motor pump to the overhead tanks and overlook to change it off. We must name and remind him, and solely then would he change off the motor. There was loads of water wastage attributable to this.”

“Regardless of faucet connections being affected to all households below the Jal Jeevan Mission, we by no means knew when water can be equipped. A lot of the girls within the village go to work. On days when water is equipped, they must take go away or not be capable to fetch water. Furthermore, homes at a better elevation used to get much less water and people at a decrease elevation used to get extra water,” she provides.

“Now, a hard and fast amount of water is being equipped at pre-set timings, no matter elevation. As we speak, our space will get water from 6 am to eight am daily. A WhatsApp group has been created by which water provide timings are knowledgeable to us. Water wastage and electrical energy payments even have come down. We’re not pressured to take go away [from work] for fetching water,” says Kalaiselvi.

Shifting ahead, the plan is to put in these IoT gadgets in OHTs positioned in different villages too. “Our imaginative and prescient is to harness out there know-how and broaden this initiative, one village at a time, utilising present funds,” says DC Sunkara.

(Edited by Pranita Bhat; Photographs courtesy Erode District Administration)



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