New Device Uses GPS & Crowdsourcing to Prevent Water-Related Diseases

Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson / TED

According to the World Health Organization, more than 3.5 million people die each year from water-related diseases. A new device hopes to change that by providing real-time information on potential outbreaks of disease-infected water.

“The device lets anyone test water with the push of the button and then submits the results along with location data wirelessly. In turn, the company hopes it can identify problems much more quickly than chemical-based testing and prevent communities from drinking contaminated water.

Water Canary analyzes water samples by using light and measuring what wavelengths to draw conclusions. A red light flashes to alert the user to a potential water problem. However, the company’s founder, Sonaar Luthra, told Mashable that the goal isn’t to tell you instantly whether or not you can drink a given sample of water (though he doesn’t rule out that possibility in the future).”

(via Mashable)

To make this concept work, Luthra hopes to provide these devices for free and open source the technology to allow others to create their own version of the Water Canary.

Do you think this is a good solution to prevent water-related diseases? Let us know in the comments below.

Our World Water Day article talks more about the importance of clean drinking water. You can also read the Mashable article here.

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