The Information Technology University (ITU) and University of Colorado Boulder (UCB) under the Pakistan-United States Science & Technology Cooperation Program will work together to develop “Design and Implementation of Water ATMs – Water Dispensing and Quality Measurement Units” in Pakistan.
For this project, Dr. Tauseef Tauqeer of ITU and Mr. Mustafa Naseem of UCB are jointly awarded a competitive research grant of US $ 374,599 by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in the U.S. and by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Pakistan.
The Government of Punjab (GoP) is determined to construct Water Filtration Plants – community clean water collection points, where community members can collect fresh drinking water at no monetary cost.
Water ATMs are also getting popular in India where the access to clean water is becoming a major challenge.
Although, in Pakistan, there are water filtration plants currently available in various locations in the province, however, research has shown that due to the lack of regular monitoring of various filtration mechanisms, the water quality is below acceptable levels in many plants. Most of such plants are usually found dysfunctioning.
Pakistan is a highly water-starved country, with water levels falling below 1000 cubic meters per capita in the recent past. Access to clean drinking water is an even greater challenge, with 16 million people in Pakistan having no choice but to drink unhygienic water, resulting in the death of 41,000 children per year due to diarrhea, substandard water, and sanitation facilities.
This project aims to create Water ATMs – an electronic water dispensing device with the quality measurement unit.
The Water ATM will be comprised of probes that measure pH, turbidity, residual chlorine, and total dissolved solids (TDS). The water quality and dispensing quantity will be measured throughout the day, and the data will be recorded via telemetry on the web-based dashboard. In this way, any water wastage or filtration plant maintenance issues can be promptly highlighted and timely addressed.