Solar Powered Water ATMs will Provide Clean Drinking Water in Punjab

Thirsty? Soon, you could be getting clean water from a solar powered ATM through the use of a smart card. The innovative solution is set to be launched in Punjab very soon.


Physically, the machine is quite similar to an ATM. Occupying a space of two square feet, it can be used to claim a daily share of clean water through the use of a smart card.

It’s a prototype borne of the collaboration between Punjab Saaf Pani Company and the Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL), a research center in Lahore. The water ATM is all set to be installed alongside water filtration plants in rural areas and the outskirts of major urban areas in Punjab.

Jawad Abbasi, program manager at IPAL, said:

The machine is designed to help the government cut water waste and ensure people have access to clean water. The innovative machines will help the government maintain a record of the exact quantity of clean drinking water being dispensed in a day in a specific locality, besides ensuring its quality. The quality and quantity of water being dispensed will be tracked in real time online through a central server.

The way the machine works is pretty simple. An audio message is played every time an ATM card is authenticated, you get two buttons for starting and stopping the flow of water and sensors keep a track of how much water has been dispensed and how much remains.

The first phase of the project will see Bahawalpur, Faisalabad and Rajanpur being fitted with water ATMs. These districts in Punjab are particularly known for water contamination issues. Per family, 30 liters of drinkable water will be available on a daily basis.

Jawad Abbasi said:

We are planning to install the machines at 20 filtration plants in the first phase that will benefit some 17,500 families. The organisation is seeking $23,500 in aid from the UK Department of International Development to put the prototype into production and install more of the dispensing machines at existing water filtration plants in Punjab.

The project was born out of a need for clean water for the masses. According to the Punjab Saaf Pani Company, in Punjab, which houses 98 million people:

  • 13% people in rural areas have access to tap water
  • 43% people in urban areas have access to tap water

Things don’t look better when you take the whole country into account. According to Pakistan’s national drinking water policy, 35% of the country’s population doesn’t have access to safe drinking water. Estimates for the diseases related to poor water sanitation and hygiene cost the economy over 112 billion every year.

35% of the Pakistan’s population doesn’t have access to safe drinking water

Keeping in mind the magnitude of the situation at hand, Punjab government has allocated 20 billion rupees to provide clean water to the people. The clean drinking water project aims to provide more than 35 million people with water in 2 years.

It’s one of the top priorities of the provincial government, to ensure provision of clean drinking water in each locality, as access to clean water is a fundamental human right. The clean water will be provided free of cost but beneficiary communities will pool money each month to pay for maintenance of the ATMs and filtration plants.

Water wastage is a huge issue and systems such as the water ATM, which is already being implemented in neighboring India, are critical to making sure we manage our resources properly.

According to Nazir Ahmed Wattoo, an environmental expert with the Punjab Organisation for Social Welfare, the real test will be whether the water dispensing centers are maintained and effectively monitored. He added that Pakistan needed to build new water reservoirs as well since the current water storage capacity is at 30 days, one fourth of what is needed.

via Tribune


  • Punjab Punjab Punjab. Every development in Punjab. Then they ask why Balochi separtists & Sindhi seperatists & Saraiki seperatists want to be isolated from Pakistan?!

    • Because its duty of elected government there to provide such services. Elect PMLN and see the change.

      • “ provide such services Only in cities where THEY live. ”
        Next time be a man, grow some balls, complete your sentences & speak the truth.

        • Go above and read again where this project going to be started.
          Your first stupid argument is why punjab, it is just like why punjab is performing well than others, its not punjabs responsibility to take care of other provinces, all provinces can start any projects on their own resources. Its upto them whether to dance and smoke or to work.
          Next stupid argument is ignorance of south punjab, let me tell you most of punjab population living in what you said upper punjab or cities like RWP,LHR,FSL,GUJ,GRT,SLK,SRG etc. Resources divided on the basis of population. Stupids like you argue that we neglect Balochistan on the basis of resources and in reality the population of Balochistan is less than population of lahore.
          Matlab aik jaga 10 log or aik jaga 3 log hon gay to khana adha adha dono jaga dain to ziyadti hoti hai jahan 10 hen wahan 10 ka or 3 ko unke hisab sy milta ha.
          Next apki stupidity clear ker dun kay, development south punjab main kum hai, metro lhr kyun hai, becuase it depends upon your needs which differ.
          I mean japan main sub industry tokyo main hai or sub kuch wahin banta hai, china main shangai, beijing jesi cities main sub development hai, Australia main sub kuch Sydney or Nelbourne main he hai, UAE main metro sirf Dubai main he hai, UK main london say bahir jao jo kuch hai he nahi london jesa, canada main bus aik ontario province he developed hai.
          Trust me i can go on with hundreds of examples but arguing with a stupid you know …not gud ;)

          • If by Bahawalpur you mean current Solar Power Plant that is about to start then I suggest you kindly read some real news about how they are ripping off $$$ in the hoax of that Solar Plant.

            • i believe you have all the proofs for it.. kindly post here.. i will be the first one to be on your side…

              • Oh please! “Harkat me barkat hai.” Do your own work I’m not your researcher. Those who dig, get the truth. Those who wait for truth will wait forever. But for starters, listen to RoufKlasara – he is an investigative journalist & he researches on exposing these corruption loaded projects.

    • That’s because Punjab means Lahore. and JUST Lahore. The only development that occurs in the south punjab is to shut the people up. The government scoops up all the resources the other cities have to offer and build roads da infrastructure in lahore. What is Lahore doing for the rest of us? Nothing . If the other cities group together and stop sharing resources with Lahore to build their own infrastructure to main dekhta hon kab tak log bolain gay “Lahore Lahore hay! “

  • Is it 35%? It must be a typo. I think it’s 70%–who don’t access to safe drinking water. Please provide the correct source.

  • Acha…. Lekin ab eik baat mujhko btao… Wo 30 liter pani ghar kaisey lekr jaein ge?

    • G nominal say charges hain jo machine ki working k liye required hain.
      Pani upto 30 litr allow hai or ap zruri nhi aik din 30 lay k jao, daily 10 liter kafi hai jo aksar log utha k ly ker jatay hen filter plants say.

  • It’s a project by students of a university, this will be published in newspapers tomorrow and then you won’t hear about it again. Good Media management by Punjab government.

  • Karachi Ko to Koi Phochta Nahi Bhai Pani to Hai he Nahi Yaha, Sahi Kaha tha Kisi Ne Bohat Jald PUNJAB He Capital Hoga, Pharha Likha Punjab

    • Next Time vote for some Sane and Able people in Sindh.. and you will see the change . . . . same goes for other three provinces as well. . . . and if you wonder why Punjab uses more resources than other Provinces .. the reason is simple that more than half of Pakistan’s Population lives here .. so resources will be used accordingly . . . so stop bitching here and vote for the People who deliver.

  • یہ نہیں بتایا گیا کہ 30 لٹر پانی کتنے میں ملے گا؟ کہیں منرل واٹر سے مہنگا تو نہیں ہوگا!؟

    • yes these people only know dubai abu dhabi and sharjah
      they know nothing about ajman ras al khaimah ummul quain and fujairah
      some areas are worst than pakistan
      same they only know london and Birmingham

  • where i live i will work there, i will think for that area, blauchi, sindhi or pathan should work in their areas WHO has stopped them to do so. STOP blaming punjabies for doing something for their localities AND start blaming OTHERs for NOT doing anything for their Areas.

  • Considering the predicted water crisis, a very good initiative! It may just be a success if procurement, installation activities and other required processes are strictly monitored by reputable independent orgs.

  • Dear Aamir, if what you said is correct, and this part of the country has such a huge population, and therefore deserves more resources, maybe it should also generate these revenue/resources according to the share of its population?
    No?! But the 10% Balochistan or 20% Sindh generate 80% of the revenue in Pakistan — and Punjab always like to mislead the nation by talking about its population.
    When taking “free” revenue from other provinces, its population. . . when generating revenue, no, no, no its something else — still waiting to see what excuse there is for that.
    Please learn to be fair — we are all Muslims, and we made this country in the name of Islam, not Punjabi, Sindhi, Pathan, etc and we should have the courage to face Allah with a clean heart, and not hide webs in our hearts while our mouths spout niceties.
    Pakistan maybe one of the few countries, where the people who actually generate the revenue have no say on how to spend it . . . hence the current turmoil.
    Once we learn to be fair to everyone, none of these issues will happen.
    Remember in Uhud and Badar, a brother was fighting a brother — for Islam . . for fairness and equality — please learn something from our history and what we stand for.

    • Dear who told you that 80 % revenue generate by Sindh and Balochistan?
      I don’t know from where you people get those statistics.
      There is one stupid claim about karachi that was too baseless because companies head offices are there so all revenue from the country shown from karachi and we have sea port there where all trade activities done.
      what we export doesn’t produce in karachi.
      Rest some resources in Balochistan and Sindh distributed equally based on population. which is right thing to do. Same happen in punjab and KPK.
      You better go and learn the history of your own country where first time in the history of world a majority (Bangladesh) seperate itself from minority and the reason was same , we didn’t divide resources based on population regardless of who produce what and how much.
      You people will realize when punjab seperate itself

  • Advertisement

    See ProPakistani in...
    ProPakistani App