Gauteng and NW Province

IBM Taps Big Data to Help Solve Water Challenges Across South Africa

IBM marks World Water Day with the launch of a crowdsourcing project to help capture, share and analyze information about the water distribution system in South Africa. The project, called “WaterWatchers,” is driven by a new mobile phone application and SMS capability that will enable South African citizens to report water leaks, faulty water pipes and general conditions of water canals. Every update will provide vital data points to an aggregated “WaterWatchers” report to create a single view of the issues challenging South Africa’s water distribution system.

The free app, which is currently available for Android and available for download at www.ibmwaterwatchers.co.za, and the SMS capability* together provide an easy way for anyone to collect and report issues on local waterways and pipes to a centralized portal. After taking a photo and answering three simple questions about the particular water canal or pipe, the data is uploaded in real-time to a central database. After 30 days, the data will be analyzed and aggregated into a meaningful “leak hot spot” map for South Africa.

“This project is about analyzing use, predicting demand and managing the future of our country’s water,” said IBM South Africa Smarter Planet Executive Ahmed Simjee . It’s a unique exercise in crowdsourcing for South Africa and we encourage every person to become a ‘citizen scientist’- to engage with the environment and help create a big picture map of our water leaks and issues. By enabling countless individuals to gather and submit data, WaterWatchers represents a new kind of data aggregation, analytics and visualization for water planners in South Africa – and is exactly the kind of Big Data challenge IBM excels at solving.”
25th March 2013
The Water Network

What a lovely and much needed water solution!.

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