By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in
The Freshwater Trust scientist guides the Trekker-mounted kayak down the Russian River, capturing 360-degree imagery as he floats. Photo Credit: Brian Kelley of The Freshwater Trust.
Monitoring clean water with sensors
When it comes to water contamination in rural areas, collecting reliable data is often one of the biggest challenges. In 2014, a nonprofit called Associacao O Eco won the Google Impact Challenge: Brazil with a proposal for a data-collection project called InfoAmazonia. The project will deploy a network of sensors that send a text message to local citizens and officials if contamination is detected. In the next phase of the project, the organization plans to create an open-source toolkit and citizen-led initiative that enables local people to install these sensors, understand their own data, and advocate for a cleaner water supply.
Two members of the InfoAmazonia team install the Mãe d´água sensor in one of the communities in Santarém, Pará, Brazil.
Water tracking with satellites
Between 2011-2012, Africa endured its worst drought in 50 years. Without water, crop failures have lead to malnourishment and displacement across the region. To help with the relief efforts, we gave a grant to the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) for satellite imaging technologies to assess crop availability, monitor water quality in Lakes Victoria and Malawi, and provide data for an early warning system for floods and fires.
The near real-time data capture has helped local officials make informed decisions about managing water resources, and addressing food security in the region.
Examples of data and imagery collected through the satellite system.
Help raise awareness on water issues
This year, water nonprofit Drop4Drop is asking people to complete the sentence “W is for…” in order to raise awareness for the global clean water crisis. To us, “W is for… Water organizations using tech to make an impact.” The solutions to the world’s water challenges are complex, and some will take years to achieve. These organizations are applying technology to these challenges in new and unique ways, and we’re glad to play a small part.
We encourage you to write your own “W is for…” post and use the hashtag #W4Water to join the conversation on social media.
Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Google.org IMAGE URL Jacquelline Fuller Google.org