AI in Water Management
with Elango Thevar of
Some things are difficult to truly appreciate until they aren’t available – clean water is one of those things. Our guest, Elango Thevar (Founder and CEO of, grew up in India in an area where clean, drinkable water was a privilege. In the US, Elango explains that anywhere between 30% of clean water coming from water management facilities is lost in its commute to US citizens, due to piping issues (among other things). Artificial intelligence has emerged as a tool to solve this issue.

In this episode we discuss the unseen issues facing water management, how Elango’s passion for efficient clean water delivery led him to AI, working with government organizations to organize data, launching a startup in the Midwest, and much much more.

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Show Notes with Timestamps (VIDEO):
2:24 Elango’s background | Growing up in a small town with no running water
4:15 Becoming an engineering specialist in water management
7:47 The unseen issue in water management as critical infrastructure
10:21 Coming up with as a concept to digitize and add intelligence to water management
17:20 Working with utilities to get the data needed to detect water pipe issues
21:57 Helping cities (clients) establish processes for collecting data
23:58 How Neer worked with cities to train its initial ML algorithms
26:46 Convincing a co-founder to join the journey (and leave a cushy job)
28:39 Finding the first believers/clients – when you’re selling to the government
32:10 Our vision for the industry is that the technology works for everyone, big and small cities
34:34 The pros and cons of starting in the Midwest
37:21 Elango’s favorite tech tools: Gusto, AWS Sagemaker, Slack
38:43 Most inspirational leaders: Seth Siegel and Bill Gates
40:00 Winning $50K non-dilutive grant from Arch Grants and Neer’s donation to community


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Next Episode: Amanda Kelly, Co-Founder & COO of Streamlit

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