Mumbai: INDRA Water, a two-year-old Mumbai-based start-up, has caught the fancy of global technological community by winning the coveted Urban Water Challenge 2019 Award in the World Water Week held at Stockholm from 25-30 August, 2019. There were 226 start-ups from 38 countries competing for the top honors. This award was conferred by Imagine H2O, Bluewater group and 11th Hour Racing. Imagine H2O, a San Francisco based non-profit body empowers people to develop and deploy innovation to solve water challenges globally. Bluewater group of Sweden promises ‘pure water for everyone, everywhere’. 11th Hour Racing from Rhode Island, USA partners with the sailing and maritime communities to promote collaborative, systemic change benefiting the health of our oceans.
INDRA water is founded by five professionals – Amrit Om Nayak, Krunal Nitin Patel, Aditya Vemuganti, Abhijit VVR and Siriteja Allaparthi. The first three are alumni of University of Washington, Seattle, and Abhijit and Sriteja are from BITS, Pilani and IIIT, Hyderabad respectively. Amrit, the CEO, hails from Bhubaneswar, Odisha, and had his early schooling in Blossoms School and Kendriya Vidyalaya – 2, CRPF, Bhubaneswar. Having started their journey in Seattle at the University of Washington, INDRA’s founders decided to get back to India to solve its water problems. They developed their first prototype with support from Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, IIT Bombay and RiiDL.
Urban communities are at the frontlines of the global water crisis. A NITI Aayog report of 2018 says that a total of 21 major cities of India are poised to run out of groundwater in 2020. The World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas recently ranked India 13 on Aqueduct’s list of “extremely highly” water stressed countries. 54 percent of India faces high water stress. Water shortage in Chennai this summer was a wakeup call for all of us. Aquifers have dried up, reservoirs depleted leaving hundreds of thousands of residents wait in line each day to fill their pots at government and private water tankers. People are forced to wash utensils in the same dirty water, saving a few bottles of clean water to cook food or drink. This makes finding technologically efficient solutions to recycling wastewater, and yet affordable to common man, as critical to our survival.
It is against this backdrop that INDRA’s innovation looks promising. INDRA systems treat and recycle wastewater, both industrial and household, and recover up to 95% of water for reuse applications! Its systems are smart, automated, compact, and plug-and-play. This enables very easy operation with minimal footprint. INDRA systems do not use any chemicals and are eco-friendly. They require no additional manpower to operate, and are affordable, offering more than 35 percent savings in life cycle costs as compared to conventional treatment systems. Further, by recycling water, they offset direct fresh water demand by more than 75 percent! INDRA systems are modular and they can treat and recycle up to 5,00,000 liters of wastewater per day in a single module! More importantly, they also offer smaller modules with capacities as low as 1000 liters of wastewater treatment per day. This offers great flexibility to customers and promotes decentralized wastewater treatment at the point of source. INDRA systems can cater to requirements of housing complexes, industries, hospitals, hotels, municipalities, etc.
INDRA has successfully treated and recycled more than 25 million liters of wastewater in the past year and is on course to recycle 500 million liters of water by 2020! This will positively impact the lives of more than 3 million people and save more than 20 million manhours of human effort! The team at INDRA is certainly driving the transition to a sustainable and water secure future for India and the globe!