Published: 16th March 2020
Water Warriors: How Chennai start-up WEGot uses IoT to track exactly how much water you use at home
WEGot's intelligent tech solution, VenAqua, gives you an account of how much water you are using and how much you can potentially save
When Abilash Haridass came back to Chennai after graduating from the University of Buffalo he found his hometown exactly how he left it — there was an acute water crisis plaguing the city. Along with Vijay Krishna, Mohideen Haja and Sundeep Donthamshetty, Abilash founded WEGoT Utility Solutions in 2015 to find water management solutions in Chennai. The internet-of-things (IoT)-based start-up has spread to 15 cities across India since then.
What do they do? WEGot's intelligent tech solution, VenAqua, gives you an account of how much water you are using and how much you can potentially save. "When we came back to Chennai everyone was talking about saving water but no one told people how to. We thought if we kept an account of how much we waste we might get into the habit of saving it. Having a personal electricity meter for your household helps you in keeping track of your electricity consumption and thus, reduce wastage, right? We do the same thing. By helping you keep track of how much water you use, you can be aware of excess usage, if any and avoid wastage," says Abilash.
This could help with advocacy and lower bills too. "Why should a family of two adults pay the same amount for water as a family of four adults and two children? Currently, water usage is levied by floor area rather than actual usage. If we had a flat rate for electricity no one would turn off the AC. With our system, it is your consumption that dictates how much you pay. Your every usage is tracked to the smallest drop, making it possible for you to be billed accurately. We now manage more than 30,000 housing associations and about 75 million square feet of real estate and have saved over a billion litres of water in three-and-a-half years," he adds.
Once they receive a request either offline or online the team reaches out to the client to understand their specific requirements to design a solution for them. "We design a solution that is specific to the building. We charge nothing for the product, the client pays for the labour though and we also have a monthly subscription fee of Rs 149 per month," says Abilash. "Our tech does not only measure the water it also keeps meticulous track of each inlet and outlet. So, if there is a leakage you will be notified instantly," he adds.
How much can you save? A person, on any average day, spends 225 litres of water while consumption of around 135 litres should be more than enough, says the 35-year-old Co-Founder. "Once we install our device and one starts keeping track through our app, there is a drastic drop in consumption. We bring down an average person's consumption to 100 litres a day," he adds. WEGoT raised $2 million about six months ago through seed funding and has been expanding since. The first thing, Abilash says, everyone should immediately, to save water is to keep track of the wastage. Only then will we save enough.