ABB transforms rural water management in Koppal

  • January 20, 2021
  • William Payne

A drought-stricken region of south-west India has turned to ABB to manage water in the most efficient way possible. The Government of the State of Karnataka is applying the technology to pump and distribute clean treated river water to village homes in the district of Koppal.

With a population of around one million people, the Koppal district regularly suffers water shortages. Until now, responses have ranged from preserving ancient wells to following age-old water conservation practices. Now, due to this new initiative, the Kushtagi and Yelburga villages will soon benefit from  ABB’s digital water management solutions as part of a multi-village clean drinking water scheme.

Koppal needed solutions that could effectively monitor water flow and manage leaks to reduce non-revenue water and achieve overall productivity improvement in a widely dispersed water distribution network set-up.

L&T Construction Water & Effluent Treatment IC, the lead contractor for the project, chose ABB Ability Symphony Plus SCADA and ABB’s AquaMaster 4 flowmeters for the project, sanctioned by the Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Department, Koppal, Karnataka.

ABB’s engagement spans the end-to-end automation and instrumentation of the project, from the pumping station at the river to the treatment of clean drinking water. The route comprises 620 overhead tanks and 16 reservoirs. The project involves putting in place a network of RTUs (remote terminal units) for remote locations and pumping stations and ABB Ability Symphony Plus SCADA to supervise and control the operation.

The SCADA solutions help monitor and analyse daily flow consumption patterns thereby identifying possible leaks and sending the information in real-time to the central control room. This helps to avert water loss because it means that leaks are identified and can be repaired swiftly.

ABB’s AquaMaster 4 elctromagnetic flowmeters, running on battery power, will offer reliability even in low flow conditions, in areas where most mechanical flowmeters would fail. They offer measurement accuracy down to flow velocities lower than 0.1m/s where most meters struggle to even detect flow. As the vast majority of leaks are small but continuous, the ability of AquaMaster to detect small variations in flow is crucial in combating the water shortage challenge in the Koppal district.

With inbuilt tamper-proof datalogging, self-diagnostics, and a smart integrated GPRS communication module, AquaMaster 4 supports automated meter reading (AMR) and links to an automatic billing system, providing transparency in consumption data, with user-specific tags and access control. GIS (geographical information systems) enable preventive maintenance and permit easy navigation to the site of a potential leak, thanks to Google Maps GPS assistance. The meters can be verified by the ABB Ability Verification for measurement devices solution, which extends the life-cycle of the product, validates  accuracy, and provides the customer with a health-check report in accordance with the ISO9001 standard.

G Srinivas Rao, Head of ABB Measurement & Analytics in India, said: “As India moves swiftly towards smart and sustainable villages, towns and cities, one of the key challenges is water management. This project shows how ABB’s digital water management solutions can be deployed not only in cities but also to provide clean, drinking water in the villages that are crucial to our agrarian economy. We are proud partners in this project in the state where ABB India is headquartered, and in the district which contributes so significantly to our agricultural output.”

ABB flowmeters are also in operation in cities across India, including Delhi, Bangalore, Surat, Ranchi, Kolkata, Udaipur, Chennai, and in semi urban and rural areas like Gadag in Karnataka and Jawai in Rajasthan.