We live in a time when innovation and developments in technology advance much faster than we could have ever anticipated. That being said, there is a great need for resources to fuel these developments. Oil, fuel and electricity drive the technological world and are essential to our development.
Although a shift to green energy is inevitable, at the present, only 24% of our energy usage is renewable. Hence, we work primarily with other energy sources that produce a lot of waste. This waste pollutes the atmosphere and waters of the world, endangering animals, and our own health.
Take for example the Persian Gulf war oil spill in 1991, 520 million gallons of oil were intentionally poured into the ocean. This destroyed the ecosystem in the area killing over one million marine animals and bring a few species to extinction.
If such events happen, it is essential to save the endangered species that are being affected. But with limited resources, it is often difficult to know which areas are hit worst and where intervention is needed most urgently.
But that is only one facet of the story, today, only 2.5% of the water on the planet is considered safe to drink. As more corporations and private individuals pour dangerous chemicals into rivers, lakes and seas, this precious resource is slowly being polluted.
Besides the direct consequences of the pollution – dirty water, death of marine species, etc. People and animals that consume the polluted water may observe health issues. As the corpses of species decay in the water on a large scale, the water becomes infested with disease. Humans and animals drinking this water can then contract diseases such as Polio and Trachoma (some of which are not treatable).
All of this can be prevented from happening by identifying polluting at its source. Water quality monitoring is essential to identify the quality of water throughout the world, be it in oceans or lakes. But such solutions are often expensive and difficult to implement. As well as this, maintenance is a great concern.
By identifying places were water pollution is high, authorities can then accordingly check this area to identify the parties responsible, be it a change in the ecosystem or a company dumping dejections in the water.
This is where WaterAid comes in. WaterAid is an application that allows for the easy monitoring of water quality anywhere in the world. The device is equipped with multiple sensors that together monitor the overall quality of the water. This data is then centralised in a database where it is visualised on a dashboard.
The device can be used in two modes: in an enterprise mode where multiple devices can continuously monitor a stream or any other body of water by being placed in fixed positions on the body of water.
The other mode is a personal mode. The device can be used by private individuals to monitor the water quality at various points. This mode allows the device to be carried around by a surveyor for example who is tasked to collect a single sample of water at different points along the sea shore to see if the water is appropriate for bathing or along a river to ensure that everything is ok. Other private individuals can carry a device with them on hikes for example to see if streams of water they found are drinkable. This data collected can then be shared to a public dashboard where other people can check the water quality in a certain area and then contribute with their own data.
WaterAid is an affordable, mass producible and open source end to end application which allows governments, private associations and even individuals to take water quality readings and share them with the community, enabling data analysis and observations which can allow authorities to identify places that are being polluted (rivers, lakes, sea, ocean) and take appropriate measures to ensure that the water is clean. This allows us to work together and help our marine...Read more »