The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), an initiative of the Government of India’s, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all rural households in India. The objective of the mission is to provide 55 litres per capita per day of prescribed quality (BIS:10500) water on a regular and long-term basis. JJM is one of the largest drinking water programmes globally, providing around Rs 3.6 trillion for the development of drinking water infrastructure in rural India. Technology and various digital initiatives have acted as enablers to achieve the core objectives of the mission, along with community participation in planning, implementation, monitoring, and operations and maintenance (O&M). At a recent conference on Digital Technologies for Water Network Management organised by India Infrastructure, Pradeep Singh, director, Jal Jeevan Mission and IT Initiatives, Ministry of Jal Shakti and A Muralidharan, deputy advisor, Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti, discussed the digital vision of the mission, its progress and accomplishments.
Digital initiatives under JJM
The vision of adopting digitalisation under JJM includes several activities such as designing schemes that are cost-effective, continuous monitoring, maintaining transparency, enabling Gram Panchayats to become local water utilities to run their own systems, and integrating databases on quality and quantity. There are eight broad digital platforms being implemented under the JJM, covering the JJM Integrated Management Information System (IMIS), the JJM dashboard, the JJM Water Quality Management Information System (WQMIS), an internet of things (IoT) platform, a mobile application, analytical tools, a Public Finance Management System (PFMS), the JJM website and the Rashtriya Jal Jeevan Kosh (RJJK) portal.
The JJM IMIS brings together all data such as information regarding tap connections provided to households, details of village action plans, district action plans, state action plans, village water and sanitation committees (VWSC), the planning and expenditure of various schemes, finan-cing and funding details, progress in priority areas, etc. It helps in the creating inventories of all assets needed to provide water supply. It also maintains the database of beneficiaries.
The JJM dashboard captures all the essential monitoring parameters that are of interest to the public, such as the number of functional household tap connections provided on a daily basis since the launch of the mission at the national and state levels; coverage status in states, union territories (UTs), districts, blocks, panchayats and villages that have achieved the “Har Ghar Jal” status by providing 100 per cent tap water connections; state- and district-wise status of households with tap water connections as on August 15, 2019 and as on date in order to monitor the progress of each state/UT; a grievance redressal system; and real-time sensor-based measurement and monitoring. The dashboard is powered by the IMIS database.
The JJM WQMIS provides details of all functional laboratories in the country to help identify the closest water testing lab to a location and allow the public to get their water tested. It helps with the registration of water samples with location and date stamps and online uploading of lab results. In case of contamination, alerts are generated for remedial actions by water supply agencies. This system also has National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories accreditation of labs. The ministry aims to collect water quality data through a departmental officer who would check the quality and upload the results on the WQMIS portal on the spot. Further, there will also be a provision for water quality tests done by the public at labs, which will then be integrated with tests performed by the departmental officer. This will help in getting the country’s rural water supply data on a single platform for analysis, using which informed decisions can be made and problems can be addressed on a priority basis. Till now, the ministry has onboarded three states including West Bengal, Haryana and Maharashtra to WQMIS.
The IoT platform is a cloud-based system made to monitor key performance indicators of a mission and ensure quick response, minimum service delivery outage and minimum water loss, optimise efficiency and monitor the quantity and quality of water on a sustainable basis. The ministry has tied up with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Institute, Chandigarh, to provide IoT-based systems for monitoring water supply in identified villages in the country. The system will not only monitor and record information about water quality but will also record the water supplied and water drawn from the ground, which will help in keeping a check on the revenue generation and groundwater levels. At a pilot stage, the ministry has installed IoT systems in around 100 villages and the mission aims to have all the remaining villages covered with IoT systems under the JJM.
The mobile application enables data collection for Paani Samitis/VWSCs, Gram Panchayats and officials using mobiles. It helps in capturing details regarding infrastructure, beneficiaries, financial collections, progress of work, maintenance of water pipes, addition or deletion of water connections and other water-related information at the village and block levels.
JJM website and RJJK portal
The JJM website and RJJK portal help in providing information about the overall policy formulation, planning, financing and coordination for JJM. The RJJK portal enables individuals and organisations to donate and contribute towards enabling provision of clean drinking water at the village level. The database available on the IMIS will be utilised by the JJM mobile and web application, which enables the Rural Water Supply/Public Health Engineering Department and Paani Samitis/ VWSCs to keep track of the assets that will help in O&M during an outage.
The analytical tools introduced for the mission support data analysis, predictive analytics, monitoring and preparation of dashboards, etc. It identifies and understands features that are a must for the progress of the mission. The analytical tools will be integrated with the JJM dashboard to generate useful insights.
Public Finance and Monitoring System (PFMS)
Under the PFMS, all disbursements and expenditure under the JJM are tracked online. This will help maintain transparency and a judicious use of public money. All transactions related to the mission from the ministry level to the lowest panchayat level will be recorded on the PFMS with details of the finances of states and UTs.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in collaboration with states and UTs, is working towards achieving the vision of the JJM by 2024. The idea is to have a robust digital platform including IMIS, WQMIS, an IoT platform, a mobile application and web portals to maintain transparency in the system, monitor progress on a real-time basis, enable data collection, collation, handling and analysis to ensure the quantity and quality of water supply service delivery, provide grievance redressal, etc. Additionally, the digital vision would result in an integration of the mission data with the water resources database of the Central Ground Water Board and the disease surveillance programme database of the National Centre for Disease Control.