Borewells serve as a crucial source of groundwater for various purposes in India. Due to their concealed nature, accurately determining the water levels within them has been challenging. This lack of knowledge has led to excessive pumping until the borewells run dry, resulting in inefficient management and use of available water resources.
In response to this issue, WaterLabs Solution, founded by Vijay Gawade, developed an innovative solution in 2022 – the ‘Bhujal Borewell Monitoring App’ (Bhujal). This user-friendly, android-based multilingual application empowers individuals to track water levels in borewells accurately and effortlessly. Bhujal operates on the principle of “what needs to be managed, needs to be measured” and has become the first of its kind in this domain, earning a patent for its unique capabilities.
The Bhujal App does not require additional sensors or equipment and eliminates the need to open the borewell assembly for monitoring. Within a minute, users can access precise water level information, making it highly convenient for groundwater monitoring. The app has been thoroughly tested and validated by esteemed organizations such as the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM – Kozhikode), the Central Ground Water Board, Government of India, IIT Mumbai, ACWADAM (Pune), and state ground agencies of Maharashtra and Karnataka, ensuring its accuracy and reliability.
Funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, the Bhujal App was recognized as one of the Innovative Apps during the Agri Conclave inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Additionally, Waterlabs was chosen as the technology and implementation partner by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, for the Amrut 2 Mission, which aims to benefit around 500 cities across the country.
The Bhujal App is already being utilized to monitor 300 borewells in the Pune Municipal Corporation area, aiding in the development of an aquifer management plan, and to monitor drinking water borewells for Grampanchayats by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Bihar. Future plans include using the app to monitor irrigation borewells in Haryana, initiating a community-based data-driven groundwater resource management project in collaboration with Human for People, a Danish international NGO.
The Bhujal App has seen substantial adoption, with over 1800 borewells currently being monitored, and it is expected to reach 5000 borewells by 2023, indicating a remarkable growth rate of 270%. The app addresses the limitations of existing groundwater monitoring tools such as sounders, piezometers, and digital water level recorders, which can be expensive, invasive, non-scalable, and challenging to use alongside borewell pumps.
The Bhujal App’s potential areas of application span domestic, agricultural, industrial, and government-led groundwater monitoring, making it a promising prospect for emerging businesses. It caters to a wide range of users, from individuals to governmental organizations, NGOs, CSR donors, and researchers. To further enhance remote monitoring capabilities, an IoT device is in development to cater to progressive clients, governments, and industries seeking comprehensive borewell monitoring solutions.