Big data improves access to clean water
One of the problems that prevents local governments from providing good access to clean water is lack of data, as well as sharing of that data across different departments. Open water data can also provide essential government transparency, and empowers citizen to hold government officials accountable.
In 2011, Feighery, together with her husband, established mWater to provide a free, open-access system to monitor water sources, offering a global map, a mobile phone app for recording sources and test results, and inexpensive water-testing kits costing around $5. Anyone can use the platform for free, without a relationship to mWater, but large organizations contribute their own software budgets, and investor-level organizations pay for new features, customized implementations, dashboards, training and support. This revenue model, says Feighery, enables mWater to remain efficient and “ensures our product is always needed.” To date, over 6,000 users have been accessing mWater in 59 countries, and the organization receives 15,000 surveys each month to add to the database. Over 350,000 public and private sites link to the platform. What’s more, mWater makes it simple to move surveys and forms from paper into a digital format, which is easier to share and use.