This week, a new report from the World Resources Institute (WRI) concluded that one in four people globally are living in regions affected by extreme water stress. The problem is particularly pronounced in places such as sub-Saharan Africa and India, which are already feeling the effects of climate change and which have not made large investments into improved water infrastructure in recent times.
In response to the issue, entrepreneur Minhaj Choudry has worked with professional learning platform Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) to bring water “ATMs” to more than 250,000 people across India. Under the system, businesses and local authorities fund the installation of a water ATM in their community, while local residents are given RFID-chip-enabled “Drinkwell” cards. To use the network, they load the card with credit and hold the card on the ATM’s senor to check their credit and begin dispensing.
The ATM units are equipped with mechanical, digital and cloud-based automation technology to reduce leakage and overpayment. To date, more than one million litres of water have been delivered using the ATM network.