Providing piped water to end dependence on unreliable and contaminated tube wells for 1.5 million people in rural India.
A water infrastructure programme giving 1.5 million people access to clean water was given an Award of Excellence by infrastructure leaders for its remarkable success and impact on life in Gadag, India.
Gadag in Karnataka has 448 villages in which 1.5million people have relied, until now, on tube wells for their water. The geology of the region, however, has meant water available from wells was both chemically contaminated and prone to scarcity in summer months.
Rather than tackle the problem village by village, a region-wide approach identified two sources of water for the entire area. This enabled infrastructure to be put in place to pipe river water to the villages, supplying potable water that meets World Health Organisation standards while using less energy and with less vulnerability to weather than bore wells.
A huge scale of impact
The project has seen 1.5million people go from a lack of access to clean drinking water to a reliable supply that is also metered to help encourage sustainable use. The replacement of contaminated water has significant health benefits for the region and is supported by investment in treatment facilities to enable sustainable re-use.
To achieve all of this, the programme involved building 25 balancing reservoirs with deep intakes to ensure even critically dry weather will not prevent water flows, and 1500km of water pipes now run from water sources to villages, often crossing difficult terrain.
Because of the terrain challenges, 4,500 square kilometres were modelled in detail to identify hydraulically suitable locations for balancing tanks for equitable supply of water to all villages. This has allowed for detailed mapping of the region to ensure water is efficiently transported from the water sources and villages, to the water treatment plant, through to balancing reservoirs and then back to village water tanks again.
The Award of Excellence was been given as part of the 2021 FIDIC Project Awards, to eight global projects on the basis of sustainability and impact, and Gadag is a case study for helping more regions to overcome the water crisis.
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