How to provide sustainable water through automated water kiosks in off-grid communities
Learn how solar-powered, automated water kiosks can help to maintain a reliable water supply scheme and get an understanding of the benefits offered by the holistic approach of the Grundfos AQtap water ATM.
Approximately 663 million people all over the world drink unsafe water. The majority of these people live in rural, off-grid areas where there is no power or water infrastructure. This number demonstrates the importance of providing reliable public water points in these areas.
So, in the first part of this module, we’re going to introduce you to solar-powered water kiosks and how they can help address these challenges. In the second part, we’re going to narrow the scope slightly and introduce you to a specific automated water kiosk solution: the Grundfos AQtap. Let’s get started.
In their most widespread form, public water points include a host of widely recognised challenges, such as the lack of funds for maintenance and spare parts, inefficiency in terms of collecting water revenue, or the lack of price control.
But water kiosks can be effective if the requirements in off-grid areas are understood and addressed in a complete solution. Let’s take a closer look.
First of all, it’s essential that they can be solar-powered as it’s the only way to maintain a sustainable and stable operation in areas in which there is no access to grid electricity.
Next, they have to support the need to collect and manage water revenue to ensure that the operational and maintenance costs of the water supply services are funded. This includes a solution that supports fair transactions for both the consumers and the water service providers, for instance by means of a secure pre-payment system.
Additionally, the system needs to support monitoring, data collection and accountability to donors, investors and other authorities. Such a system can lead to better water management and improve the operational efficiency of the water kiosk.
In short, we need a holistic solution beyond the water tap to support a long-term, reliable and sustainable water supply.
Fortunately, the Grundfos AQtap water ATM provides just that. In the next part of the module, we’re going to take a look at how the AQtap delivers a solar-powered, automated water kiosk solution.
In simple terms, the AQtap is an intelligent water dispenser, which also serves as a platform for revenue collection and data collection. Let’s go through the various elements of the AQtap solution.
First of all, there’s the tapping unit itself. It has a simple, intuitive interface and offers precise water dispensing, keeping water waste at a minimum. It’s also very robust and can withstand harsh environments or deliberate tampering.
Then, there’s the WaterCards. Each WaterCard is a unique carrier of water credits. Transferring credits to the WaterCard is easy and can be done by means of mobile payment or through local vendors in areas where mobile payment isn’t possible.
One of the main benefits of the WaterCard system is the ability to automatically and efficiently collect water revenue through pre-payment. When credits are acquired through mobile payment, water revenue collection is instant, cashless and protected by 48-bit encryption.
Finally, there’s the water management system.
By remotely monitoring water kiosks and collecting data through the water management system, it makes it easier to plan service and maintenance. It also supports full accountability and reporting to authorities and funding partners on all transactions and water kiosks’ performance.
But perhaps most importantly, data-based insights help any water service providers looking to expand operations as well as maintain reliable water supply services in both urban and rural communities.
This can result in greater access to safe water in the areas of the world where it’s most necessary. So, that covers the main requirements and possible solutions for reliable water distribution in off-grid communities. Let’s recap.
A solar-powered, automated water kiosk is a holistic solution that enables a reliable water supply in off-grid communities. The Grundfos AQtap offers just that.
Users can store credits on unique WaterCards that can be used to purchase water from AQtap water kiosks.
The AQtap provides user-friendliness, the flexibility to tap water 24/7, pricing equality and control, and full accountability of all transactions.
And finally, the insights provided by the AQtap can help water service providers expand operations and provide safe water to the world’s most water-critical areas.