USAID Invests In Open-Source Mobile Tech For Water Sanitation Monitoring

Amanda Sperber | Huffington Post | August 22, 2013

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) initiative just announced its investment in mWater. A non-profit tech startup, mWater has created an app for mobile phone users to instantly test and analyze water quality from local sources and share this information on their global, open-source water monitoring database.

Drinking contaminated water is one of the main causes of diarrheal disease, the second leading cause of death in children under five years old, worldwide. mWater's preliminary work testing over 100 water sources sources in Tanzania's second largest city, Mwanza -- one of the fastest growing urban centers in East Africa -- found fecal contamination in 90 percent of shallow-dug wells and springs. Many of these sources were only a short distance from safer-piped water kiosks. In a baseline survey, mWater found water users choose from up to three water sources each day. The organization believes that more information about the safety of water sources will encourage people to make safer water choices.