According to reports, the State Government plans to implement solar energy-based pipe water supply scheme in 18 Integrated Action Plan (IAP) districts to augment drinking water supply.
As many as 3,217 habitations have been identified for the purpose. The scheme is part of the Centre’s Pipe Water Supply Scheme for rural pockets in the 12th Five Year Plan.
Since drinking water supply infrastructure is not developed in the IAP districts, the solar-based dual pump pipe water supply scheme will be implemented where electricity supply is not feasible.
The innovative scheme, which was first launched by Maharashtra Government, is aimed at rural areas where electricity supply is a problem. Not only does it do away with the traditional power supply, the scheme does not use batteries also. By sourcing solar energy, it provides house-hold taps.
The scheme called ‘Solar Energy-based dual pump pipe water supply’ has been designed by the Ground Water Survey and Development Agency of Maharashtra Government. It is suitable for small habitations where the population is just about 250.
A major feature of the scheme is that it uses an existing borewell as the water source which yields at least 2,000 litre per hour. Besides, in case of the wells which have hand-pumps, water cannot be drawn beyond a depth of 120 ft once the level drops.
The solar energy-based dual pump piped water scheme works in both the scenarios since an additional pump can be installed. The additional pump can run on solar and conventional energy.
The scheme is based on ready-made materials and can be installed within three days.
One advantage is that it works even in cloudy weather conditions with normal efficiency. A water tank or a storage unit will be installed from where water can be distributed to the houses through connections and stand-posts. The unit cost of installation is estimated at `5.10 lakh.
In the first phase, the scheme will cover 1,762 habitations for which funds have been earmarked. Apart from Central assistance under the programme, the Central share from the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) has been provisioned, sources in the Rural Development Department said.