Current status of water availability in Hyderabad and Bengaluru is grim with severe water scarcity year after year. With increasing demand, water is a fast-diminishing natural resource. The imbalance of availability and demand leads to disputes. Water crisis in both the cities is increasing at an alarming rate. For people living in high-rise apartments, water comes at a huge premium. It not only includes the cost of purchase of water from water tankers but also the cost of pumping it up to the overhead tanks.
Most of us do not realise that unlike electricity, there are no alternative sources of water. In the history of mankind's evolution, no new water source has ever been found. Without water metering, there is no incentive for anyone to save water. Research has proven that our water consumption drops by up to 35% on a monthly basis, once we start metering. Most housing complexes do not meter the water consumption of residents individually. Instead, the residents are charged a fixed flat rate. The individual consumptions are never equal which results in most residents paying for others' consumption as well. This makes people insensitive towards water wastage in their homes.
WaterOn is a water conservation App designed by Vivek Shukla and Kasturi Ranjan. They were colleagues at Wipro Eco Energy in Bengaluru and also neighbours at a residential colony in HSR Layout.
They started their company “SmarterHomes Technologies” and launched the “WaterOn” App for smart measured water consumption in individual apartments in 2012.
WaterOn, an IoT product, is the world’s first 100% automated smart water meter offering accurate metering, leak prevention (detection and control) and long life. It’s the only end-to-end solution providing real time readings to the consumers to help them prevent wastage and save money.
SmarterHomes empowers individual users to monitor, control and optimize their water consumption in real time.
Water consumption is measured through Smart Meter - a wireless water metering device installed around the water source inlet of every flat. This meter is connected to the App through three models. The first one is the Wi-Fi model, where Wi-Fi from every flat is used. The consumption data is transferred to a server that provides Smarterhomes with the information. This is then sent to the App, and people can monitor their usage. Global System for Mobile (GSM) sim card is the second model. The startup, along with Vodafone, uses a sim card that is connected to every meter to monitor the flow of water. The third model uses solar energy. Solar panels are installed, mostly above multi-storied apartments and are connected through wired cables to a server that sends information to the App.
WaterOn App has been downloaded by 15,000 users, including 10,000 residents in Bengaluru alone. Besides Bengaluru, the startup has its offices in Hyderabad and Chennai. Efforts have also been made to promote this technology overseas. Dubai, Kuwait, Oman, Brazil and South Africa are some places where this App is used. “Cape town in South Africa has been facing a major water crisis. We have received positive responses for this App and hope it will help in water conservation in the city,” Priyanka Sarawagi, Shukla’s Executive Assistant told TNM.
Water consumption data from the App is shared with the water providers and consumers are billed accordingly. This App also provides information about water consumption patterns of neighbours so that housing colonies can achieve sustainable management of water.
Social networking sites like Facebook are used to promote the App among users. SmartHomes Technology has received funding from Macquarie Bank, UK.
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Here are a few high-rise apartments in Hyderabad and Bengaluru that are leading the way in saving water by adopting smart water metering.
Case Study - 1
Name of the apartment: Casa Rouge
Size of the apartment: 156
When was WaterOn installed: Feb 2017
Water Usage per month before installation? (In Kilo litres): 2930
Water Usage per month after installation (In Kilo litres): 1903
Water Saved per month: 1027
Case Study - 2
Name of the apartment: Hill County
Size of the apartment: 256
When was WaterOn installed: Nov 2015
Water Usage per month before installation? (In Kilo litres): 3360
Water Usage per month after installation (In Kilo litres): 2183
Water Saved per month: 1177