EarthxHack Finds Technologies to Cut Water Leakage


Water leakage during transmission is a big menace in India and across the world. In cities like Bengaluru water transmission loss is as much a criminal 50%. The efforts of water supply authorities so far have been half-hearted.

The good news is we may soon have effective solutions. The team at EarthxHack in April 2019, organized by the Ahmedabad-based iCreate – Dr. Vanita Prasad, Pranay Shah, Rajneesh Prasad and Nitin Jain – won the first prize for their technology – infrared satellite imaging to detect water leakage during transmission. The team won INR 50,000 and a chance to participate at the Climate Launchpad, the world’s largest green business idea competition.

The first runner-up prize too dealt with the same problem. Their technology is about real-time detection of water loss in transmission channels using a sensory device to test soil moisture for joints at multiple transmission nodes and a solar flow meter detecting water loss between two points.

The second runner-up prize went to the technology that condenses air moisture in humid areas through geothermal energy. Both runner-up teams received INR 25,000 each.

About: Innovation around reduce water losses in transmission channels
Solution: Infra-red Satelite imaging for water leakage detection during transmission.
Team members: Nitin Jain, Pranay Shah, Rajneesh and Dr. Vanita Prasad
Runner Up 1
About: Innovation around reduce water losses in transmission channels
Solution: Water leakage detection using flow sensors to monitor the flow rate of water and soil moisture sensors or live detection of leakage.
Team members: Pranav Shukla; Raj Rathod, Jigarkumar Parmar, Samarth Kawade and Dhruvi Shah
Runner up 2
About: Innovation around generation of water
Solution: Water capturing using geothermal condensation and pressure condensation.
Team members: Ankur Kaundal, Vrushali Mohite, Gargi Phadke, Keya Vyas and Akash

Why the Award Money is So Meagre

It’s ironical that the prize money at EarthxHack is so small for innovators who are called on to solve mega problems. Prizes should be real, rather than a token, to attract best of minds. It’s not that there is not enough money in the system. Today it’s too much money chasing too few good innovations.    

EarthxHack 2019 focused on creating solutions to address the global water crisis. iCreate posed two broad problem statements to conceptualize solutions and prototypes around production of water from the atmosphere (saline water and wastewater) and detection and prevention of loss of water through transmission.

The International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate) has collaborated with EarthX, a US-based international environmental non-profit organization, to bring its flagship hackathon ‘EarthxHack’ to India. This hackathon is the world’s largest that’s designed to encourage innovators to use tech-enabled solutions to solve environment-related issues, which can be implemented on a global scale.

The hackathon saw 14 teams from diverse backgrounds and age groups, such as college students, entrepreneurs, professionals, startups and projects working on environmental innovation and technology. These participants brought in knowledge and competencies in areas such as electronics, IoT, embedded systems, sociology, broad science and technology and environmentalists.

Other Innovations

Other shortlisted technologies were aluminium-based water condensation system, use of solar heat for water generation from humid air, developing drones and internet of things (IoT)-based system to detect breach and leakage in canals, use of Vapour Compression Refrigeration (VCR) system to get water from the atmosphere and detection of water loss in water bodies by infra-red (IR) satellite imaging.

Anupam Jalote, CEO, iCreate, says Many international organisations are thriving and solving global problems and they have bright Indian minds powering their solutions. We in India too, have the capability of solving large scale problems. All we need is a slight nudge in the right direction. iCreate is working to create such an environment that encourages world class innovations to be developed right here.”

iCreate’s thrust areas are Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, embedded systems, IoT, Blockchain, Electric Vehicles and Drone Technology.

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