Water supply is an essential need, but quite a few people are fortunate enough to enjoy this basic provision. Solar power is often the most economical technology for water supply in remote locations, where electricity is not readily available.
We will, therefore, take a close look at the Jal Minar Scheme in today's blog.
An overview of Jal Minar
Official data indicates that Jal Minar Scheme construction commenced in April 2018 and that, so far, 1197 water storing structures have been constructed for use in villages and anganwadis at an estimated cost of Rs. 2.5 lakh each.
The District Rural Development Authority of Latehar district in Jharkhand started this solar-based water supply scheme to make clean water more accessible, especially in remote regions of the district. The Jal Minar scheme aims to provide rural communities access to clean water that can be used for drinking and other domestic purposes.
Working Principle of Jal Minar
The Solar water pumping system operates on the principle of PV (Photovoltaics) technology. It comprises a solar panel array, a solar charge controller (MPPT), an electric motor, a water pump, pump cables, and a water storage tank.
Solar panels convert radiant solar energy into electricity.
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The controller serves as an interface between the solar panels and the pumps. A low voltage protection feature of the controller shuts off the pump system when the voltage drops below or rises above the range of the pump's operating voltage.
Motors can either be DC or AC. The motors provide power to drive the pumps, which deliver water from the source (open well, bore well, stream, pond, canal) to the final destination (storage tank), using centrifugal or suction force. The extension from each Jal Minar unit provides households with the convenience of running tap water, thus effectively meeting the growing demand for domestic water supply.
How has Jal Minar transformed lives for the better?
Latehar's solar-powered lift drinking water scheme of Rs. 617.50 lakhs is indeed a milestone and is changing the face of the town. Let us see how:
Jal Minar is ideal for rural areas owing to its low operating cost and maintenance.
Since water supply from Jal Minar is not allowed to be used for irrigation and livestock, several Indian farmers are using it as an alternative source of income. It is possible to sell surplus energy to the grid.
Before, women had to travel several kilometers to fetch water from boreholes or tube wells. As Jal Minar has improved social cohesion within the community, reduced migration out of the community, enhanced community interaction in social events owing to time availability, it has certainly contributed to social development. Consequently, women in these communities have more time to devote to educational, recreational, or food gathering activities. Having access to safe running water has increased women's awareness of the need for personal hygiene, sanitation, and health.
Schools and anganwadis are also benefiting from reliable and clean running water with the installation of Jal Minars.
The way forward
Mukhiyas will be engaged at the grassroots to maintain, sustain and build awareness, to make the project sustainable.
Jal Sahiyas is vested with the responsibility of maintaining each Jal Minar and ensuring there is no wastage of water. Each household will also be asked for maintenance fees.
Jal Sahiyas will receive a monthly remuneration from the district administration for their efforts.
The use of an efficient water tank structure results in less time spent for the same amount of water that would otherwise be acquired while obtaining water from a similar power source.
Utkarsh manufactures 5000 & 2000 litre galvanized steel Jal Minars and 10,000 litres of ungalvanized steel Jal Minars. In addition to tolerating water stress, they can withstand extreme weather conditions as well.