Pakistan is short on water, but soon, people in need will be able to scan a card and get clean drinking water, right out of a machine. What’s better is that this ‘water ATM’ is completely solar-powered, making it easy to install just about anywhere water is needed.
The machines measure just two feet square and work just like an ATM. The project, according to Reuters, is a collaboration between the Punjab Saaf Pani (Clean Water) Company and the Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL), a research center in Lahore. The collaborators plan to install a water ATM on each of a series of water filtration plants being established in the rural and urban “fringe” areas of Punjab province.
The machine will help the Pakistan government cut the waste of water and more closely monitor the drinking water distributed. The machines will also keep a precise record of the water and will enable the government to track water use by locality.
After the user scans their card, an audio message gives directions for the distribution of water. Green and red buttons start and stop the flow. A meter measures how much water is dispersed and a sensor detects how much water is left. The project will start off covering three districts of Punjab including Bahawalpur, Rajanpur and Faisalabad. All three of these areas have particularly serious water contamination issues, experts said to Reuters.
Each beneficiary family will be able to collect a maximum of 30 liters, almost 8 gallons, of clean drinking water daily from the filtration plants with their unique identity card, Jawad Abbasi, a program manager at IPAL, said. “We are planning to install the machines at 20 filtration plants in the first phase that will benefit some 17,500 families,” he continued. He added that the organization was looking for $23,500 in aid from the UK Department of International Development to put the “prototype into production and install more of the dispensing machines at existing water filtration plants in Punjab.”