Water Quality Testing Goes Digital In Tanzania

Water quality
Image Credit: wqa.org

mWater, a non-profit organization dedicated to improve safe water and sanitation through mobile technology, has partnered with UN HABITAT in a project that will see residents in Mwanza Tanzania test the quality of the water they are consuming by use of specially designed smartphone applications.

The project, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims at mapping out water sources and record test results using mobile technology, even as the Mwanza City Council tries to find ways to provide clean drinking water to its over half a million residents.

“In 2012, mWater and UN HABITAT collaborated with MWAUWASA and Mwanza City Council to conduct a study to demonstrate the scientific validity of low cost tests of the mWater applications for mobile smartphones, which maps out water sources and records their water test results,” said mWater in a statement.

The organizations will collaborate with the local authorities in the project in establishing demand for water quality information and also come up with ways of constant monitoring of water sources in the region.

mWater said that it will provide free smartphones, airtime and initial supply of test kits to spur participation by the locals.

mWater created an Android app that makes it easy for locals to  enter data from supported water tests which in turn provides a summary of previous test results for a particular water source.With the application, the user receives instant feedback regarding their own water sample while the data is uploaded to the cloud for mapping and sharing with others.

The mapping project was launched after it was discovered that there was need to come up with innovative approach to water development and supply in Mwanza area, currently facing a rapid urban population growth.

“The knowledge and lessons generated by this project will be used to expand the availability of low-cost tools for water quality monitoring and mapping in other regions and countries,” mWater added.