Using Blockchain Tech to Reduce Water Shortages

A lot of the world takes water as a right. And far of the world has so little water that it’s a matter of life and demise.

So how can we ship water from areas of surplus to areas of want? That is the mission of Atlantis, a undertaking dedicated to fixing points stemming from local weather change, focusing totally on water. They usually’re attempting to crack this downside through the use of blockchain.

Irthu Suresh is a speaker at this year’s Consensus festival in Austin, Texas, May 29-31.

Atlantis is not only theoretical. Throughout 50 villages within the area of Chikmagalur, India, Atlantis deployed a Web3 resolution that incentivized folks to successfully switch water from the Haves to the Have Nots. A intelligent system of “bounties” inspired villagers to carry out duties that enabled this new distribution. And the pilot program labored. “We’ve exchanged greater than 21,000 kiloliters of water,” says Irthu Suresh, CEO of Atlantis.

Giving a sneak preview of what he’ll share in Austin at Consensus, Suresh explains why Atlantis adopted blockchain, the challenges they needed to overcome for onboarding, and why he desires the world to know that Web3 is not only for buying and selling however that “we will use this to battle water issues, to battle poverty.”

Interview has been condensed and calmly edited for readability.Atlantis didn’t begin out as a blockchain group, however ultimately you included the tech. What led you to this?Irthu Suresh: We had been attempting to construct options for local weather change — primarily by way of water — as a Web2 firm, however a personal entity attempting to construct for the commons was not likely placing a chord. And we bumped into every kind of challenges with current energy constructions, every part from rules to unregulated mafia in India. It’s very straightforward to carry down an thought if it’s constructed by a personal entity. All you want is a bunch of attorneys.

And that led us to assume, “How can me and my co-founder turn out to be insignificant over time as this technique scales?” And that led us to have a look at decentralized distributed techniques. We figured that if this works, nobody ought to have the ability to carry it down.

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Then we realized that there have been individuals who had been prepared to reap extra water after which provide it into the community. This was creating extra swimming pools of surplus assets. And we had been like, “What if we may construct this complete system on blockchain?”

So what does that appear like precisely?

In most elements of the world, issues like water are closely regulated. And you’ve got these centralized grids. However as cities and areas increase, typically these centralized grids wrestle to catch up.

However India is a good instance of being constructed, traditionally, on decentralized communities. You may have small pockets of villages caring for their wants. It is hyper-local. So for us, it was a no brainer to carry some form of idea that solves for useful resource allocation issues.

There are some elements the place water is plentiful, and no one cares about it. And there are different locations the place entry to water is life and demise. So for the pilot, after we partnered with Mercy Corps Ventures, we selected a selected location in India the place on one aspect of this hill there’s an abundance of water, and on the opposite aspect of the hill there’s a drought. And the way may folks on this area change this extra water? How may we create the infrastructure regionally itself? So for our pilot program in Chikmagalur — a rural area with 50 villages — we began with folks in several water stress zone.

Attention-grabbing. What did your system do?

First we had folks regionally volunteer to unfold consciousness, then we had native folks signal as much as turn out to be water harvesters. As soon as we had these harvesters and there was a rain that was captured, there was a possibility for it to be exchanged.

How does blockchain match into this?

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We constructed the product on a cell native app. On this app, all people may create a profile, join, and first point out what their ability is. And based mostly on the ability, we begin supplying you with duties. And these duties are just about to construct up this peer-to-peer water community.

You possibly can participate in surveying, you possibly can participate in water pattern testing, you possibly can join as somebody who desires to unfold consciousness by way of workshops, or you possibly can turn out to be a harvester. All of those duties are gamified; we name them bounties. Folks join after which they do the required steps which can be required, after which they get incentivized. We knew this primary required a distributed ledger that’s tamper-proof, and we knew that blockchain is beneficial for that.

Wonderful. Are you able to quantify the influence to this point?

Yeah. We’ve exchanged greater than 21,000 kiloliters of water. The community has over 3,000 folks and it is masking 50 villages. Out of the three,000, predominantly most are shoppers who’re coming into the community to entry water. However we’ve nearly 150 harvesters within the community. After which we’ve a bunch of surveyors and validators.

What’s a validator on this context?

Let’s say you plug into the community and say, “Hey, I am a harvester.” Then we put out a bounty for somebody within the locality to turn out to be a validator, who goes to your house and simply validates that, “Hey, these guys have the infrastructure for it.” So what occurs, in essence, is we’re making a bunch of those native inexperienced jobs. And all of those completely different duties are gamified utilizing our bounty system.

What issues did you run into?

One was off-ramping. Particularly in India, it is robust to off-ramp, as a result of the rules are nonetheless in a grey space.

After which ranging from the primary MVP we designed, on the very onset of onboarding, every time we requested folks to connect with a pockets, that did not work. As a result of folks had been like, “What’s a pockets?” And I obtained an absolute education on UI and UX. We needed to actually work out when is the fitting place to introduce blockchain or the Web3 terminologies.

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And we needed to take additional steps to teach folks about it. As a result of individuals are like, ”Oh, it is crypto. Which means it is a rip-off.” And we’re like, “No, no, maintain on!” Proper? Like, there’s a lot extra to it!

What tokens are you utilizing to drive the mechanics?

We do have an inner token, which we’ll sometime launch. Throughout the pilot we actively used it. However seeing how the Web3 market works, we’re sturdy believers that until we hit a powerful product-market match, launching a token does not make sense for us.

So we’ve built-in a mechanism wherein completely different tokens will be introduced into the platform. If somebody desires to fund a water undertaking in Africa utilizing Solana they’ll, whereas if any person desires to do a water undertaking in Vietnam utilizing Optimism, they’re ready to do this. We actually labored on the interoperability facet of it as a result of local weather change doesn’t care which chain you might be on.

Properly stated. Final query: What are you most trying ahead to at Consensus?

So, one of many greatest lifelines for our undertaking has been Bitcoin. And I do know that Consensus is a good place to go and meet individuals who have pioneered a few of these applied sciences we’re utilizing right now.

I am hoping that we’re capable of come and speak concerning the issues that we’ve been doing with blockchain, which isn’t essentially simply DeFi buying and selling. We actually need folks to know that, “Hey, we will use this to battle water issues, to battle poverty.” The thought of distributed ledgers is tremendous highly effective. Extra folks must know that there is precise examples of this being performed out.

Nice sentiment. Congrats on what you’ve constructed and see you in Austin.

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