Idea Documentation- Well Yes! (O17- CWM)
Monitoring water quality through remote sensing and crowdsourcing data collection.
- We hoped to regularize monitoring through community involvement so action is immediate and fast tracked, at least with data at hand. Currently, water quality assessment is infrequent in India.
(Mentor feedback: Ana Carolina Peixoto Deveza)
- There are some multi-parameter probe that are capable of detecting total coliforms in water samples. Enterococci are used as indicators of fecal pollution. There are a few studies in this domain. Low levels of dissolved oxygen is another aspect indicative of bacterial overgrowth in water and can be sensed using probes.
(Mentor feedback: Ana Carolina Peixoto Deveza)
- Covered in Week 3
(Mentor feedback: Francois Grey & Ana Carolina Peixoto Deveza)
- May not be entirely foolproof, since they only trap sediments and solid effluents.
- Fecal desludging and treatment involves other parameters. Water monitoring for contamination through multiple sources can be done.
(Mentor feedback; Francois Grey & Ana Carolina Peixoto Deveza)
- There are local chapters for these which may be contacted for such an initiatives. These bodies have been part of multiple environmental events and have worked with NGOs as well. Green clubs in undergrad colleges could also incentivize students through marks. Their job would be to educate locals and generate awareness.
(Mentor feedback: Francois Grey)
(Mentor feedback: Francois Grey & Amudha Ravi Shankar)
Sample of the feedback app developed using EpiCollect5 from the SDGTool Kit.
- For now. we hope for water department authorities to use this data to check on defaulters, especially industries that release effluents untreated. A of now, yearly reports mean yearly notices to those responsible and therefore slower action. In areas of existing fecal contamination, water infrastructure renewal can get a push by a now informed/trained resident population. The purpose of data is to arm people and having it publicly accessible would allow for transparency.
(Mentor feedback: Laura Wirtavuori & Amudha Ravi Shankar)
Gather/Evaluate Phase: Training Program
October 21-November 18, 2020
Idea combining remote sensing, water contamination & crowdsourcing.
Written project summary: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10_P4_9Sm6Bz_gIf7GO1pkklQWwx7hodF/view?usp=sharing
One minute pitch: https://www.goodwall.io/posts/open17waterweek5-345d?lang=en
Acronyms: W= week, P= pitch
Steps marked by flags indicate feedback. Those with the info symbol only describe the slide.
-Well Yes! is a well water monitoring system that works towards providing access to clean water for rural communities across Maharashtra, India.
-Our project uses a community-driven approach to implement a simple and regularized testing system for detecting water contamination.
-Our water quality data allows individuals to track groundwater contamination, prevent both long and short term effects on health and begin remedial efforts.
PHASE I: The Groundwork
We start with a preliminary assessment of the site, by initiating a dialogue within the community about the significance of the project. This includes the support of the local govt, village-level volunteers, and youth bodies such as the national cadet corps.
-An initial study of well water quality would be conducted with the co-operation of volunteers and a broad range of parameters would be determined, along with environmental data.
PHASE II: Monitor and Report
The volunteer group would be trained to independently conduct routine water quality tests and collect data through a mobile app interface. Where feasible, automated data transfer through the use of sensing probes shall be set-up. A cloud-based system would allow for the data to be accessible via a web platform to the community, as well as for research purposes.
Simply put, there is a lack of information of groundwater quality and therefore, slower progress with respect to remediative measures. Given that 80% of the country relies on this resource, we are certain that Well Yes! can fill some gaps and help prevent health issues caused by the ingestion and accumulation of heavy metal and fecal contaminants.
How are we monitoring the water? Water Quality is a complex concept, it is related to too many parameters. Therefore constructing a water quality monitoring station is a systematic and complex project.
Since one of the main goals of this project is to cover the lack of water quality data in rural areas, to decide what parameters to monitor is not easy to answer. However, we’ve had several interviews with scientists working in areas with similar conditions and we’ve got to the conclusion that it would be relevant to monitor groundwater contaminants such as coliform bacteria, because of open defecation, and heavy metals like arsenic or lead, and also fluoride where its origin can be found in the use of pesticides in agricultural fields or in industrial effluents.
For this specific compounds, trained villagers will be able to assess its concentration by using simple and affordable testing kits. As shown in the video, by following the instructions on how to use a kit, it will be very easy to report the data by using the app.
In addition, water will also be monitored in a more frequent basis by using probes. Parameters like the pH, Oxidation Reduction Potential, Electrical conductivity, Total Dissolved Solids and Turbidity rather than detecting specific compounds, these readings will lead us to a better understanding of the water quality. Regarding its cost, this can be very reduced by using Arduino-based sensors.
Well Yes! Is based on the fundamental principles of citizen science. We aim to collect quality data through a strong volunteer network. Our data collection module is to be built using the EpiCollect5 app from the SDG Toolkit and for non-smartphone users, an SMS-based interface.
A simplified web platform enabling data visualization, allows not only users within the community to look up information but also other stakeholders. Transparency and accessibility are key to the process.
Being aware is the first step to empowerment. We intend helping residents remain informed of the quality of water they consume, through a system of routine assessment. When a problem is identified in such an established setup, we aim to come up with inexpensive and practical modes of remediation, suited to resource availability. All this through healthy conversation with and within the community.
Lastly, we believe in data-driven policy changes, to safeguard the interests of the people at large.
Here’s who we are- an international group of four; with a combined background in core biology, biotechnology and international relations. We started off as an excited bunch, all ready to do our bit and have grown to care deeply about ensuring access to clean water for all. We are committed to seeing our project reach its full potential, and in this, we ask your support in helping us move forward.