BENGALURU: Ashirvad Pipes and The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation are announcing a partnership to support disruptive innovations in solving India’s water security crisis. Ashirvad Pipes will fund this initiative with a Rs. 4 crore grant to support enterprising startups working on solutions that address population-scale challenges in water.
The company, a leading provider of water management solutions, will also provide advisory support, granting access to subject matter experts, and help innovators to bring their solutions to market. The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation, will conceptualize and manage the program, select and hand-hold the startups in achieving large-scale impact. It will provide mentor networks, funding access, technology and knowledge support, government and policy circle support and a complete ecosystem for the startups to grow.
The project will nurture technology-based innovations that improve water cycle management. The focus could extend to solutions that improve water quality, enable efficient water harvesting, storage, drainage and reuse, and incentivize behavioral change towards water conservation and waste avoidance. The grant will evaluate solutions for their potential to be deployed on a large scale, on parameters such as degree of automation and unit cost, technology uniqueness, end user value propositions, and so on.
Speaking on the occasion of World Environment Day, Deepak Mehrotra, Managing Director, Ashirvad Pipes said, “Water is one of the three most essential things for the survival of all living beings. Despite receiving abundant rains, India continues to have challenges in both water access and water quality. We believe integration of intelligent technologies into rural and urban water infrastructure can solve both these problems. This partnership with The/Nudge Foundation is one of our many initiatives to involve social innovators and technologists in our quest to help secure the nation’s water, energy and food resources.”
“Water is a key driver of public health, resource conservation and livelihoods. The water-energy nexus has a direct impact on the economic and social welfare of our country, in addition to environmental and climate impact. The/Nudge aims to draw talent, capital and public attention to underserved issues like Water Sustainability. We are excited to partner with Ashirvad in designing a program to attract social entrepreneurs, who can spark bold innovations to reverse the threat of Day Zero water scarcity. We’re aiming to scale disruptive solutions to secure access to clean water for all Indians, efficient agricultural and industrial use, and water conservation.” said Sudha Srinivasan, CEO – The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation, commenting on the significance of this partnership.
Water security is one of India’s biggest challenges – the country ranks second from the bottom in terms of water quality globally. More than 600 million Indians face “acute water shortages”, 160 million Indians lack access to clean drinking water, 70% of the nation’s water supply is contaminated and 21 cities could soon run out of groundwater, as per NITI Aayog. There is an urgent need for smart water management through innovation, large-scale behavioral change, and pivotal shifts in policy.