A Backpacker’s Journey to the Digital Village: Administering AI Technology at Remote Locales 

Date: 27 June 2024 

Setting: A Remote Village in India 

It was a long, but remarkable day, worth writing about. We met a stranger on the way to the waterfalls. Since the sun had begun to set, the wilderness had already started looking wild. So, he invited us home for tea. We followed him without hesitation as puppets. His wife served us herbal tea and offered us a favor- we could spend the night at their home. I was quite dubious of the stay. The path to the waterfall was filled with muddy potholes and slush. How will I use the water at such a place for a shower? Skip the shower idea, I thought and then whoa! “How come the water available here is crystal clear?”, I heard our group leader ask our host. Our host was the Head of the small panchayat, housing about 3000 people in the community. I was too quick while judging the book by its cover. He explained how they have AI-enabled water meters at home that will help the operators detect leakages, thus ensuring availability of good quality water from the village storage tank, about 5 kms from his home. Phew! I know it is too much to convey in a sentence, but I was gasping in shock myself. AI technology has even conquered regions which are at the outskirts of the so called ‘developed’ cities. When asked about the AI meters, the conversation paved way for story time and the charming prince who came for the rescue was Nuventure, the global IoT solutions partner. 

The Head of the panchayat started narrating their story. “We are a community of 3000 people, spread across the village. Upon request, the government set up a decentralized water treatment facility and distribution system for our village, on the banks of the river. Water reached our homes through underground pipes, and everything was right as rain until the actual rains set in. Monsoons presented us with muddy waters at home. Leakages in the pipes! That is when we took a collective decision to introduce a technology-wise solution for our village. We didn’t think twice before consulting Nuventure because trusted and cost-efficient solution was our need of the hour.” 

He distinctly remembered the first meeting with Nuventure when the representatives accompanied him to the village for the primary analysis. He showed us the primary analysis report Nuventure shared with them. 

  • Need for TerraConnect’s efficient controller Terra M and water meter with pulse signal at the outlet of the public distribution tank that stored the treated water, to measure the quality and quantity of water at the source. 
  • The distribution system will be divided into branches, focus given on one branch that supplies water to 50 households at the primary stage.
  • Need for a water meter with pulse signal and Terra M at the junction of the branch, which splits to the distributary system under our study (50 households) 
  • Need to install the water meter systems of the 50 chosen households with AI image detection app, a robust AI technology inbuilt app for automating the quantitative necessities, like leakage detection and billing. 
  • Plan in the pipeline for future: Installing about 50 Terra M controllers as a mesh network across the main branch, sub-lines and random households for precise detection of leakage. 

Most of us in the travel gang who read the report were clueless, until a tech-savvy youth among us explained the science behind it.  

“Brilliant and cost-effective solution”. He started with. “I have come across blogs by TerraConnect on Terra M, before. Its features are classy: 

  • Comprehensive monitoring  
  • Remote adjustment utility 
  • World-class sensor-composition 
  • Sophisticated dual-pump controller 
  • Advanced IoT dashboard and mobile app 
  • AI-enabled Predictive Maintenance (PdM) and much more 

But in this case, I think the role of turbidity sensor is crucial. The sensor measures the turbidity value at the source, ie the outlet of water storage system, and the turbidity value at the junction of the branch before the distributaries carry water to households. If the latter value is higher than the former, it indicates a leakage on the way.” Surprised by the science behind it, we demanded to know the purpose of AI image detection app too. 

He explained, “Installing controllers at every household might not have been an economically feasible option, especially with the monsoons already on the gate. That is why the AI-enabled app for leakage detection. Am I not right, Sir?”, he asked the panchayat Head. 

“Yes, to the core.”, he replied. “We were asked to install the AI image detection app by Nuventure and on the 10th of every month, we should click images of our water meter using the application. The image captured will be analyzed by the app to get the meter reading and serial number of the meter. The bill will be generated as per the data collected from the image. This saved us a lot from travelling to the regional water regulatory board to collect the bills. Besides, the officials hardly visited our homes to get the meter readings. Of course, the way to our home is not fit for daily travel as you see. This had resulted in us paying fake bill amounts. Nuventre’s timely intervention saved our effort, time and most importantly, money.” 

“But this doesn’t solve the problem of water leakage. How did the app detect leakages if any from the junction of distributaries to the households?”, asked a curious boy among us. 

“I will explain that.”, the tech-savvy guy was in all spirits. “The customized app gets precise reading of the water meter fixed at the junction and compares it with the sum of all readings from the consumer water meters. If the value is significantly lesser than the junction meter reading, it calls for a need to check the leakage.” 

“It raises an alarm, my boy”, continued the Head. Nuventure’s Cloud solutions are state-of-the-art type. Here are its features: 

  • Built based on micro-service architecture 
  • Customizable based on end-user preferences 
  • Robust system with wide integration points 
  • Easy integration API with huge storage

And above all, Nuventure had made news by achieving ISO 27001:2002 and SOC 2 cybersecurity certifications, assuring us data protection.” 

The panchayat Head continued, “Nuventure’s adept Cloud platform had stored historic data of meter readings from households and at the junction. Any signs of poor water quality, we consult them to compare historic data of meters with the current readings of all our meters to identify the anomaly. If this isn’t a smart solution, I don’t know what it is,” he concluded. 

As we rolled down the mattress and said good night to each other, I excused myself for this diary entry, to pen down the incredible experience gifted to us by Nuventure and TerraConnect. More than the technological expertise in integrating AI-IoT for feasible solutions, I was impressed by their ethical and inclusive approach towards the interior living spaces, which I thought were void of progress. Calling it a day by ruminating on Nuventure’s dedication.  

– A Backpacker 

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