Urdhvam’s ‘BoreCharger’ Recharges Borewells Through Innovation and Technology

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Krishi Mangal Scale-up Accelerator Program, jointly initiated by Cisco and Social Alpha, has witnessed the emergence of pioneering solutions from startups such as Urdhvam Environmental Technologies Private Limited (UETPL), headquartered in Pune.

Launched in 2021, the program provides essential support to agritech startups seeking to scale their initiatives in support of smallholder farmers. Urdhvam is an agritech start-up founded in 2017, that aims to develop disruptive and innovative products using robotics and mobile technologies for groundwater sustainability. The company operations are present in multiple states Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Haryana, and Tamil Nadu.

Access to water and availability has been a constant challenge in rural and urban India. 80% of people depend on groundwater for agriculture, industrial and domestic purposes. We have about 4.5 crore existing borewells, and more than 20 lakh borewells are drilled every year. Borewells are drilled to tap into deeper aquifer systems where the natural recharge of rainwater takes many years. Electro-mechanical pumps used in borewells pump out water very fast, and this imbalance causes depletion of groundwater and drying up of borewells. The situation has resulted in issues like drinking water scarcity, low crop yields, farmer suicides and unviable businesses.

To solve this problem, Urdhvam has come up with an innovative solution, ‘BoreCharger,’ a service to borewell users/owners. It is a unique patented technology that recharges dried or low-yielding borewells by inducing 4 to 20 times more recharge of rainwater. This technique not only improves water quality and quantity but also provides a sustainable solution to the issue of water shortage.


Urdhvam founders Rahul Bakare (L), Vinit Phadnis (R) with ‘BoreCharger’

During on-ground operations, Urdhvam’s team, with their domain knowledge expertise and ‘BoreCharger’ technology, conducts a technical investigation of the selected borewell at a hydro-geologically appropriate depth this can also be referred to as ‘angiography’ of borewell. After correct identification, the team uses a robotic arm tool, ‘BoreCharger’ and perforates the borewell casing which artificially injects water from the topmost aquifer into the borewell and directly recharges deeper aquifers where natural recharge takes years to reach.

After taking service from Urdhvam, Nabi Sab, a Farmer from Humnabad, Karnataka, mentions, “Due to ‘BoreCharger’ implementation, I have seen an increase in the water level from 450 ft to 150 ft as well as duration of water supply from 1 hour to 4.5 hours during summer. This additional water supply has helped me, increase mango production and get better produce quality, resulting in an increase in agriculture income by over 40% per year.”


 Urdhvam operations team in action

One of the biggest USPs of this technology is its uniqueness, there is no other solution in the market that enables users to improve water level in their borewell.

There are some traditional methods like pit-type borewell recharge which have limitations and is also a less efficient solution. In this method, the recharging capability is dependent on the area it covers and there is a dependency on monsoon, this also takes up more space, time, and resources for construction. This solution costs 3 to 4 times higher than ‘BoreCharger’.

Harish Krishnan, Managing Director & Chief Policy Officer of Cisco India & SAARC, said, “Agritech startups like Urdhvam are pivotal in revolutionizing farming practices for smallholder farmers in India, contributing to their profitability and climate-resilient agriculture. With technology at the core, startups like these have the potential to address some of the biggest challenges we face as a society, and through programs like Krishi Mangal, we are committed to identifying and helping them scale and power an inclusive and sustainable future for all.

After 2300+ field implementations across 12 states in India, Urdhvam is automating ‘BoreCharger’ so that the technology and tool can be scaled up using the franchising route. With the support from Krishi Mangal program, Urdhvam aims to create a market for borewell recharging by scaling its operations in select districts of Maharashtra. ‘BoreCharger’ service will be offered to farmers at a cost through partners like NGOs and FPOs. This will be enabled by creating awareness with more than 10,000 farmers over the year and enabling almost 500 farmers to benefit from improved access to water.

Focussing on building products and services for sustainable groundwater, Urdhvam has been successful in ticking off the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals vis-à-vis clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, no poverty, gender equality, industry, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.

Krishi Mangal program is aligned with Cisco’s commitment to finding new ways to inspire a generation to use technology for social good. It aims to accelerate market scalable solutions that help farmers adapt to climate-resilient agriculture and play a vital role in the global effort to combat climate change.

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