Mr. ParagAgarwal, Founder & CMD, JanaJal
Water is a precious and an irreplaceable natural resource. Life on the earth exists due to water. On the other hand plastic is a man-made compilation of compounds which is now used rampantly world-wide because of its light weight, durability and cost-effectiveness.
What if water and plastic were to vanish from the planet and if you possess the power to save any one; which one would you choose? The more enduring and logical preference will be water, because its absence would literally mean the end of the world.
But are we taking problems like water scarcity, water pollution and the whole water crisis seriously?
While talking about India it can be observed that 70% of the population is deprived of safe drinking water. It is also expected that population of India will rise by 50% by the year 2050. This will escalate the demand for safer drinking water amongst the populace. Even the quality of the ground water have become worse due to the presence of chemicals like fluorides, nitrates and other heavy metals which apparently made their way into the water bodies and soil from industries, agricultural fields and dumping grounds. Ergo the need of the hour is to provide sustainable methods to use water judiciously.
In recent times, Water ATMs have emerged as the most affordable, effective and innovative solution to this problem. Water ATMs are also known as Water ATMs and dispense chilled safe drinking water for a fraction of the cost of bottled water that for decades has been considered the privilege of the upper class of people. People are encouraged to collect water in their own containers thus eliminating the generation of plastic waste in the form of empty plastic bottles that are considered to be the biggest hazard to the environment globally.
This technology has voyaged across many regions and continents such as Africa, Europe, SE Asia and it has finally made its mark now in India. This alternative of making safe water available to citizens is now validated by local administrative bodies and governments across all levels in India and welcomed by the common man who has suffered for decades on account of lack of its availability in a sustainable manner. Every water ATM serves communities such as JJ colonies and urban slums, public places such as bus stands, hospitals, railway stations, etc.where the unavailability of safe water remains the biggest cause of illnesses and water borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, etc.
Efficient water treatment techniques also ensure conservation of water, adequate decentralized distribution of drinking water and eliminate usage of plastic bottles, containers, etc. In India around 13 million tons of plastic is being consumed every year while the plastic waste generated per year is 9 million tons. So more water ATMs will result in bringing these numbers down rapidly as people will avail of these services to meet their potable water needs. With several States in India such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh having banned single-use plastic including sale of bottled water, water ATMs are going to grow in stature in terms of their relevance and contribution to improving the quality of life of citizens and reducing the pressure on waste management upon the local administrative bodies.
Every water ATM also creates gainful employment opportunities and social entrepreneurs who are able to earn a sustainable livelihood through service to communities. This unique piece of critical infrastructure not only creates jobs for the unemployed but also the unemployable.
The development and operation of the mobile water ATM, that is a custom built electric vehicle is poised to be the next big concept that will change the way safe water is delivered to peoples’ doorstep.
It is pertinent to note that all the technologies in the world cannot hydrate a human being and the truth is that preservation and conservation of water is imminent for survival. It is upon each one of us to leave a self-sufficient planet for the generations to come by availing of innovative tools such as water ATMs to minimize water losses and maximize efficiency in terms of quality and quantity.
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