Water scarcity is a global issue. Solving for water treatment can address both, water scarcity to some extent and harm to human and aquatic life. More than 70% of industrial and municipal wastewater in India is released untreated into the environment today. This is due to both, lack of treatment capacity and under-utilisation of installed capacity. If treated and reused properly, ~65% of the urban water demand could be met.
Treatment of wastewater has been on government agenda for a long time in India, starting with the setting up of centre and state-level boards and prescribing discharge standards for Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs). Over time, regulations have become more stringent, and now it is mandatory for most industrial units to have ETPs, and several states also require residential complexes, hotels and hospitals etc. to set up STPs. Globally, many countries have adopted a decentralised approach, encouraging treatment and reuse at the source. Even countries like US, which started with centralised treatment, are moving towards decentralised facilities.
Despite the merits of decentralised treatment systems, they present unique challenges - non-standardized designs, performance inefficiencies, manpower shortages impacting operations, breakdowns, etc. The problems are compounded because most treatment plants follow a biochemical process.
Given that managing a wastewater treatment plant is difficult but essential, a solution like Digital Paani, which is an IOT-enabled software and automation solution to drive operational excellence for wastewater treatment plants, is seeing strong adoption from the industry. It counts reputed hotels, industrial and residential clients amongst its customers. For these customers, in addition to increased costs of water, regulatory compliance, and ESG reports are the other factors driving the adoption of Digital Paani.
Digital Paani’s solution seamlessly integrates into existing facilities, analyzing the infrastructure’s needs based on multiple performance parameters, making these needs transparent to all stakeholders, and solving for these needs by automating unit operations and managing all human workflows including training, SOPs, and troubleshooting. By doing so, it helps ensure continuous & efficient operation of these plants, reducing energy, breakdown, manpower, and chemical costs to the tune of ~25-35% over current costs.
Digital Paani has been able to achieve this because of the strong complementary partnership that Mansi and Rajesh bring to the table. Rajesh, an IIT Delhi alum, comes with a stellar background in wastewater management, having been in the industry for more than 25 years now. He previously founded Wapp Systems, an environmental services company that primarily does EPC and O&M contracts for wastewater treatment plants. Mansi completed her bachelor's in Economics with a focus on environmental and developmental economics from Stanford University. She comes with a lot of passion for solving problems around the water crisis. Digital Paani’s team is best suited to build in this space, productizing this highly fragmented and service-led $3b wastewater treatment O&M industry, as a starting point. They are already in conversations with clients from various countries globally and we expect them to solve water problems across the value chain at scale, partnering with multiple people in the journey.