60% of Bangalore's wastewater is untreated and flows either into the city's lakes or downstream. With the city's many lakes vanishing due to rapid urbanisation, depletion of groundwater as a result of overuse in the peri-urban areas, and lack of proper underground drainage system and sewage treatment plants, Bangalore is now grappling with issues of imminent water crisis, inequitable access to water supply, and public health hazards.
The situation is aggravated by many other challenges such as dumping of industrial effluents, immersion of idols, surface runoff with pesticide inflowetc. leading to deterioration of water quality, impact on local biodiversity, sedimentation, and even contamination of underground water. There has been growing concerns amongst citizens about the health of the city’s lakes. This has in fact been acknowledged by the government who has now appointed citizen’s groups as ‘Lake Watchdogs’. However, despite years of research, both the government agencies and the citizens are ill-equipped to handle the management of these lakes as information is neither consolidated nor made usable to facilitate easy and informed decision making.
Moreover, with various stakeholders and government departments having different responsibilities, there is no common platform to bring data and information from all these sources together.
The Citizen Lake Dashboard project was initiated by ATREE in collaboration with Yuktix Technologies and Biome Environmental Solutions to make relevant data accessible to citizens’ groups. The project aims to support all those citizens’ groups who areactively responsible for maintenance of their lakes, and to ensure that the correct use of data brings in the required social change. Dashboards for the following lakes have been proposed to be initiated:
By continuous and daily monitoring of the lakes, data on sewage and stormwater inflow, presence of nutrient in the water, shape of the lake-bed, seasonal volume of water in the lakes, causes of fish-kill etc. are regularly updated on a server through an Internet of Things (IoT) platform. Using state-of-the-art sensors to measure Dissolved Oxygen, temperature, pH balance, and lake and inlet water levels, the data is wirelessly stored on a cloud dashboard. Additionally, scientific data collected by citizens on the biodiversity around lakes, and measurements on water quality are also stored manually. Simple analytics in the form of graphs such as rainfall versus inflow, DO versus time of day/temperature etc. can then be downloaded from the website.
The project will help bring together citizens’ groups, agencies, researchers, innovators and students, facilitate exchange of views and ideas, spur innovation in research, science and sensing, and also keep the lakeshealthy and water sufficient.
Yuktix Technologies has been responsible for integrating all data, and developing a web portal as well as a smart phone app. Biome Environment Solutions has been responsible for interacting with lakes’ communities to understand their requirements, coordinating with various stakeholders for collection of data, presenting insights on the lakes’ flora and fauna, and developing and maintaining a physical display with information on science of lakes.
This project is sponsored by a CSR grant from Oracle administered by CAF India.