Data for Water Security Hackathon

Driving Rural Water Security with Jaltol

7 March 2024, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Hybrid (WELL Labs office in Bengaluru & Zoom)

Data for Water Security Hackathon

The Data for Water Security Hackathon is a day-long event to help solve complex challenges pertaining to agriculture, water and livelihoods across India through data gathering and analysis. WELL Labs is hosting the hackathon in collaboration with the India Climate Collaborative and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.

Participants will use curated datasets available on Jaltol, an open source data analytics tool, to solve critical questions on water security. WELL Labs created the tool in 2021 to enable problem diagnosis, intervention planning and impact assessment for rural water security.

Why this Event?

India is among the most water-stressed countries in the world. It has 18 percent of the world’s population, but only 4 percent of its water resources. Most of it is used for agriculture, which accounts for 90% of freshwater consumption in India as opposed to 70% globally. 

Many grassroots organisations across India, such as PRADAN, WASSAN and Tarun Bharat Sangh, are working towards managing water resources more efficiently and optimising water use. Jaltol can help them by making accessible the data locked into inaccessible formats in various government reports and integrating diverse datasets, including secondary sources and remote sensing data.

Through this hackathon, we seek to foster collaboration between grassroots organisations, students and researchers to answer pressing questions about water management and security using Jaltol.

How Does it Work?

 👥 Each participant will be paired with a grassroots organisation based on their interest and expertise. The organisation will set the context for their geography and provide details regarding the question to be answered. 

📊 Participants will use Jaltol to access and analyse various datasets (see list below) and draw connections, patterns and trends.

📝 Each participant will flesh out a case study or data story (700–1,500 words) using the insights they have gleaned from Jaltol and information available in the public domain. The WELL Labs team will support you through this process.

📲 At the end of the day, we shall announce the winners and invite participants to share their reflections on using Jaltol and the process of finding solutions to queries on water management at the grassroots. 

📢 We shall be in touch with participants after the hackathon to potentially pitch stories to the media and/or explore further opportunities for collaboration.

▶️ Insights from the hackathon will help grassroots organisations better use publicly available data for planning, implementation and impact assessment of water security interventions. 


First prize: ₹10,000
Second prize: ₹5,000

Even if you do not win any prizes, we shall provide a voucher worth ₹1,000 as an honorarium for your time and effort. All attendees will receive a digital participation certificate.

The WELL Labs team will help participants develop select case studies as a publication that can be potentially pitched to the media.

Preferred Eligibility Criteria

The applicant should

  1. Be a water researcher/practitioner or enrolled in a Master’s Degree or PhD in environmental sciences, development studies, rural management, water management, engineering, statistics, social work or allied disciplines.
  2. Be able to draw out connections, patterns and trends from diverse datasets.
  3. Have excellent analytical and writing skills.
  4. Have an understanding of water and agricultural issues in India.

However, these criteria are not restrictive.

Even if you do not meet all or some of them and are interested in participating in the hackathon, do apply!

How to Participate

Fill in the application form here by March 3. We are selecting applicants on a rolling basis, so earlier is better. All participants will be notified about their application status by March 4.

Those who are in Bengaluru can participate in the hackathon in-person at the WELL Labs office. Applicants based in other cities can participate through Zoom. 


10:00-10:10 am Participants introduce themselves
10:10-10:25 am Introduction and context-setting for the hackathon
10:25-11:00 am Interactions with civil society organisations
11:00 am-1:00 pm Data gathering and analysis, compiling notes for the case study or data story
1:00-2:00 pm Lunch
2:00-4:30 pm Finalising the case study or data story
4:30-5:30 pm Participants to present their case studies, learning and feedback
5:30-5:45 pm Break
5:45-6:00 pm Closing note


About Jaltol

Datasets for the Hackathon

During the hackathon, participants can access the following datasets using the Jaltol web application (link to the application will be shared shortly):

  1. Village-level changes in seasonal cropping intensity over time (2016-17 until 2022-23, INDIASAT (IITD), Crop Intensity LULC)
    2. Village-level changes in tree cover over time (2016-17 until 2022-23, Dynamic World LULC)
    3. Daily rainfall (2000-01-01 to 2021-12-31, IMD)
    4. Soil maps (soil texture, clay content, sand content, organic carbon content, bulk density)
    5. Elevation and slope
    6. Census village population (2011)

Sample Case Study

Participants will be expected to come up with a sample case study like this during the hackathon. Please note that this is just to give an idea about the analysis required and not a restrictive example. We encourage participants be creative while answering questions. The WELL Labs team will support you in this process.


Topic: Data for Water Security Hackathon

Facilitators: Anjali Neelakantan, Craig Dsouza

Date: 7 March 2024, Thursday

Time: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Venue: Hybrid
In-person: WELL Labs, Bengaluru | View on map
Online: Zoom link to be shared with selected participants

Apply by 3 March 2024

Shortlisting of participants by 4 March 2024

Lunch, tea and snacks will be served to in-person participants.

Contact us in case of any queries.