Water is vital and especially in an economy that is dependent on agriculture. Agriculture accounts for one-sixth of our GDP and close to 60 percent of Indian farms depend on rains to irrigate their farms. Drought and crop failures have been largely responsible for a staggering number of farmer suicides.
Most are pushed into extreme debt after they fail to generate revenue due to drought, pest attack and lack of financial help. In a span of two decades from 1995-2015, a total of 2,96,438 farmers in India committed suicide, as per the National Crime Records Bureau report 2015. Further, farmer suicides contributed to 11.2% of the total suicide cases in 2014.
Vassar Labs to the rescue
This is what led Hyderabad-based startup Vassar Labs to take steps to solve this crisis. The startup offers technology-based solutions in crucial sectors such as agriculture, water management, education and smart city planning, using new-age technologies such as machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT). (Pic: Vassar Labs)
Keeping the farmers informed
The startup has built a Water Resources Information and Management System for the state and its website enables the public to view all the information related to water and also adheres to their queries. Some basic information in this project includes the amount of water a state/district/village have, knowledge about water stress and how to mitigate and source it, the prediction of water demand across river basins, among others. (Pic: Vassar Labs)
“Most of the data come through IoT devices like automatic weather stations, ground water sensor, reservoir and canal level sensors. However, this is augmented by satellite- based imagery and manual data through mobile apps,” Vassar Labs, co-founder, Nikhilesh Kumar told ET. Further, the firm has an Artificial Intelligence-based system which is trained to learn and produce effective results as time increases.
The startup has now signed a contract with the Central Government for developing a Generic State Water Resources Information System. The project is aimed to help other states get a glimpse of few components of the comprehensive Water Resources Information and Management System developed by the firm.