UrbanWater - managing water for urban India

About Solution

Cities in Urban India, of 600 million people, are severely water-stressed. Nearly, 250,000 deaths occur each year due to an inadequate access to clean water. This situation is because of a lack of affordable, "smart" and integrated solutions for water and wastewater management suitable for the Indian context. 

Cities supply water only for a few hours each day with frequent service disruptions and frequent contamination events. Water is monitored and managed with little more than paper logs and employee memory leading to wastage, contamination and service disruptions. The challenge is in transitioning from the current intermittent supply with zero automation, incomplete network/asset information and paper logs. Because of the rapidly increasing demand-supply gap, cities have to prioritize investment in network expansion rather than an integrated approach to smart water management.

Cities in India predominantly rely on septic tanks to contain fecal sludge and rely on open drains to transport sewage away from residences. Sewage or septage treatment capacity is limited causing pollution and destruction of urban water bodies such as lakes and nearby rivers. The challenge in holistically managing the mixed sanitation infrastructure being used to contain, transport and treat septage and sewage. 

SmartTerra is currently piloting, UrbanWater, an AI-driven water management platform in two cities in southern India. We will expand to wastewater and fecal sludge management in India with platforms which will use a similar technology stack as UrbanWater.  

SmartTerra’s UrbanWater allows a city to progressively replace its manual O&M workflows with monitoring and automation on its journey to 24/7. Broadly, UrbanWater is:

Measure: Our mobile apps digitalize paper logs and manual O&M workflows. Our IoT module seamlessly connects any third-party offline meter/sensor. New digital workflows, sensors/devices, SCADA data streams, etc can be continuously and easily added.

Model: Asset, network & process information is modeled to contextualize operations data. Condition information contextualizes maintenance data. AI-powered analytics process the O&M data to look for wastage & contamination and constantly update the models with the as-built condition updates. Decision making is brought into the field via alerts to operators.

Manage: The city’s administrative and demographic information along with citizen complaint information is modeled to provide context for the water services. AI-powered analytics look for service inequities, disruptions and efficiency improvements. Decision making at a service level is brought to the commissioner via alerts and recommendations.

Our product is SaaS following a subscription model built for replicability. We built our models to be easily customizable when a client's account is being set up. We built our hardware modules to be vendor-agnostic and we can connect any third-party meter/sensor to our platform. With very low upfront costs, a city can get started on making their water process data and efficiency driven. Thus, we are focussing on ways to be scalable and replicable and our business to be sustainable at scale.

SmartTerra is a winner of ImagineH20’s Urban Drinking Water Challenge 2018 and was awarded a grant for piloting SmartTerra’s UrbanWater in Warangal and Sircilla. SmartTerra's platform for the last mile distribution within cities will perfectly complement the intra-state Telangana Water Grid and the objectives of Digital Telangana and Mission Bhagiratha. 



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