Solar Energy based stand-alone water supply systems for scattered/ isolated/ tribal/ hilly villages
A standalone water supply system powered by solar energy with minimal O&M costs is to be explored in scattered/ isolated/ tribal/ hilly villages. A dedicated mini water supply system with solar panels and battery back-up, storage tanks of adequate capacity with sensors like motor on-off sensors, dry-run sensor and water level sensor, steel stages can be set up. Such systems are reported to be operational in parts of Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand
Community Water Purification Plant (CWPP) in Groundwater Contaminated Areas
The CGWB report¹⁹ details about the prevalence of six parameters in groundwater namely Arsenic, Chloride, Fluoride, Iron, Nitrate and Salinity. Out of 6,834 blocks/ firkas/ mandals/ taluks in the country, there are 3,559 affected ones with any of the six parameters. In order to provide immediate relief in Arsenic, Fluoride, Iron and other heavy metal affected habitations, CWPP can be installed to provide 8-10 lpcd as short term measure for drinking & cooking purpose. However, as a permanent measure, safe groundwater (from nearby village) or surface water supply based systems will have to be installed to provide FHTC with service level of 55 lpcd. This is to be accorded priority and all out efforts to be made to provide potable water in these qualityaffected habitations, especially with contaminants like Arsenic, Fluoride, Uranium, etc
The choice of technology is left to States to ensure that such CWPP systems have robust post installation O&M systems and safe disposal of residue so that they continue to function as per prescribed standards.
Cold deserts/ hard rock/ hilly/ coastal areas
Cold deserts are primarily located in high altitudes in Himalayan region of Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, etc. The primary source of water in these areas is Glacial melt, which is being impacted because of climate change. Further, the water gets frozen in the pipelines during winters disrupting the water supply. Solutions may be explored to enhance and store run-off water in small tanks - traditional water harvesting structure, i.e. zing. Further, artificial glacial reservoirs may be created by diverting the run-off to freeze & store as glacier. During early spring, it will serve as both drinking water and irrigation source. Promoting use of micro-irrigation can reduce the irrigation requirement and increase the drinking water security.
In hard rock areas, Bore-blast technique, fracture seal cementation, stream blasting, etc. may be explored under skilled supervision for accessing groundwater.
Use of technology in planning and monitoring
With advent of smart technologies, it is possible to have centralized and continuous monitoring in real-time. Use of Internet of Things (IoT)²¹, Geographic Information System (GIS) software, etc. will be required to achieve this. Use of data analytics will enable analyzing data collected from rural areas to be used for various purposes by the utilities for smart management and better services. It could be helpful for policy level interventions required for welfare measures.