If you had a cup of coffee, or glass of water this morning, consider yourself lucky. One in eight people on this planet have limited or no access to clean drinking water. In rural India an organization known as Piramal Water Private Limited hopes to bring that number down with a solar-powered ATM that dispenses clean water.
The business was established in 2008 to find a profitable solution to India's clean drinking water crisis. The water is sold under the brand name Sarvajal (Water for All) via ATMs. Locals purchase treated water from the ATMs using pre-paid cards or coins. A liter of water sells for 30 paise ($.006) or less. An important price point when the average rural Indian lives on less than Rs.30 ($.60) a day. The ATMs are connected to the mobile cell network and are closely monitored to track water usage and to quickly fix machines that break.