Water Vending Machines: How Equitable Are They?
Water is one of the necessities for survival. Although, India has many rivers and other water bodies flowing across the hinterlands of the country, millions of people do not have access to clean drinking water. According to a report published in Financial Express in September 2020, nearly 200,000 people die every year in India due to lack of safe drinking water. The report further states that more than 50 million people in 15 cities have no access to safe water, and about 40% of the population will not get drinking water by 2030.
While these numbers may sound woeful, India has been fighting this crisis with a unique and innovative solution, i.e., by installing water vending machines in rural and urban areas. In a water ATM, one has to insert money or use a smart card to get clean and safe-to- intake water.
These water dispensing machines run on cash transactions and consists of an inbuilt intelligent card systems that automatically dispense water after the payment is made. The primary objective of installing water vending machines is to provide clean and safe drinking water to the communities at an affordable cost.
Acknowledging the water crisis- especially in the arid regions of the country, Nest-In by Tata Steel has introduced AquaNest, a drinking water vendor kiosk that provides safe drinking water just with the press of a button.. Even in the most challenging terrain and remote locations, the kiosk, a modular structure, can be installed conveniently. Also, the model is self-sustainable, which help to improve the lives of communities.
The water dispensing machines have not only proved to be a significant success, but it has been particularly beneficial for the people in the less-developed regions of India, where approximately about 163 million people suffer due to water scarcity. The installation of the water vending machines has provided easy access to safe drinking water and enhanced the lifestyle of the people. Not to mention, it has played a massive role in reducing the cases of waterborne diseases in communities that earlier lacked access to clean water.
Posted in AquaNest on Jul 27, 2021.