Collaboration continues to be key in the merging of digital technologies with traditional industries
This summer I am traveling across Europe experiencing much higher temperatures than any other summer.
Higher temperatures = higher intake of water
It reminded me of how blessed I am to be able to drink clean water any second of the day. Something that is still a luxury compared to other parts of the world.
Did you know 1 in 10 people do not have access to clean water? Life doesn't exist without water. As a matter of fact, the body can go without food for up to 2 months, but without water, it can shut down in as little as 3 days.
charity:water is one of the top charity’s chasing a common goal, ending the global water crisis. With over 111,000 water projects funded and over 15 million people served in 29 countries, charity:water positions among the top 5 charities dealing with this challenge.
So how can technology help charities such as charity:water achieve this objective? By partnering with strategic allies such as Accenture Labs.
charity: water and Accenture Labs are collaborating to monitor water projects and keep clean water flowing for people in need. (Note that they also collaborate with tech partners such as AWS, Ublox, BodyTrace, Google.org and CTP to name a few)
Prior to their collaboration, charity:water knew that there had to be a better solution for helping keep water flowing at all of their remote locations. They looked to IoT devices to try to figure out how they could develop a sensor that could be retrofitted on the water points and provide them the data on how the water flows.
They deployed thousands of sensors to the field on their first pilot program and they collected several hundred million bits of data over the course of three years. The challenge was that the data was really noisy. They had something they thought had enormous value in it, but they didn't have the tools or expertise to mine it, understand it and analyze it.
charity: water partnered with Accenture Labs’ Tech4Good program, which applies cutting-edge applied research to help address critical challenges facing society. Its aim is to help build a more sustainable and inclusive world.
CHRISTOPH GORDER, Chief Global Water Officer at Charity:Water said:
“We started a conversation where Accenture could use their best and brightest resources to help us do the data analysis to understand trends and events in all of this data and help develop the building blocks for a predictive algorithm that will tell us when wells are going to break down before they even break down.”
Zaid Tashman, Data Science Researcher said:
"There's about 3000 of these water pumps in Northern and Southern Africa with a sensor connected to the cloud. The data comig from all these 3000 sensors was data we've analyzed, a total of 32 million data points.
From that amount of data, we were able to extract patterns and understand how people use these water networks. We were also abe to detect anomalies, so potential failure of the pump or changes in behavior of how people use it, and that was one of the building blocks of a predictive maintenance application that charity:water is now looking into implementing"
When a pump fails, people have to walk several miles to a neighboring village to get clean drinking water. The hope of Accenture is that with the work they've done with charity:water, they'll be able to solve that problem.
As charity: water’s network expands, maintaining it will become a bigger challenge. The team will continue to innovate to help decrease the maintenance costs and downtime of water systems, resulting in more communities having efficient, reliable access to clean, safe drinking water at scale. And with its commitment to transparency and accountability, charity: water is reinventing charity on its way to ending the water crisis.
Accenture Labs is proud to support innovative non-profits like charity:water and harness the power of emerging technologies to improve lives
The takeaway, by continuing to collaborate we can merge technology and those fields that are unable to scale and get further on their own.
Let’s continue having conversations that spark action! Conversations that inspire us and motivate us to move forward.
Trust in Tech, Trust in You.
Author, Advisor, Storyteller
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