‘Earth without water is earth with no life’
Ironically, the ones who need it the most are the ones who pollute it to the extent that it spells doom for the entire planet.
According to Niti Aayog, the majority of rural land under cultivation is for two major food crops — wheat and rice, which faces substantial water scarcity posing a threat to food security. Moreover, about five out of the 20 largest and water-stressed cities in the world are from India.
In such a scenario, founders Utkarsh and Nishant have come up with a solution – Blue Elixir. Founded five years ago in Ranchi, a startup that addresses water-shortage problems by providing water management and conservation solutions.
Nishant says they were inspired by the game ‘Clash of Clans’ while naming their startup as ‘Blue Elixir’.
The company has successfully worked on 110 projects in states like Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Odisha.
What do they do?
They implement rainwater harvesting structures and installing zero-liquid discharge systems, and plan schemes for watershed management in rural areas.
The team of four, including two other engineers, use the following techniques:
- Rainwater harvesting and storage: Rainwater is conserved and filtered for further use.
- Groundwater recharge: Rainwater is filtered and then used to recharge the groundwater aquifers.
- Zero-liquid discharge systems: It consists of sewerage treatment plants for households, apartments, hospitals, and more.
- Watershed management: Larger societies, schools, and institutions with greater surface runoff and rural areas are considered for micro-watershed, and watershed management.
Despite their noble venture, they do have challenges to deal with
“There is a lack of understanding of the importance of water conservation which stops people from embracing the solutions. This stops people from wanting to invest in services and projects that benefit the environment,” he explains.
He also adds that for them, carrying out the installation of their systems is difficult during the monsoon season.
Regardless, Utkarsh is hopeful for the future of the company and working on introducing new solutions.
They intend to venture into stormwater management that will prevent cities from getting flooded (due to clogging of drains) during the monsoons.
Utkarsh is also pursuing a Ph.D. on this subject from Central University, which is helping him through this new vertical. Utkarsh says that they are working on a proposal that they want to present to the Municipal Corporation of Ranchi by next year.
On the one hand, they have helped conserve close to 90 million liters of water through their rainwater harvesting systems. On the other hand, through their wastewater treatment systems, they have treated over 1.5 billion liters of water!
“Environmental degradation and climate change are having a visible detrimental impact on ecology. It is time for different stakeholders to work together so that we can effectively manage our resources. I hope that we do not pick up a newspaper one day and read that we have run out of water. Conservation is the need of the hour,” he concludes.