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8 June 2012
Please review the journal abstract listed below:

Journal of Hydroinformatics In Press, Uncorrected Proof © IWA Publishing 2012 | doi:10.2166/hydro.2012.183

GSM-enabled remote monitoring of rural handpumps: a proof-of-concept study
Patrick Thomson, Rob Hope and Tim Foster
School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QY, United Kingdom. E-mail: patrick.thomson@ouce.ox.ac.uk


First received 23 November 2011; accepted in revised form 12 February 2012. Available online 17 May 2012


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ABSTRACT

The continued expansion of mobile network coverage in rural Africa provides an opportunity for simple and low-cost hydroinformatic innovations to measure and transmit data on handpump use for policy and management improvements. We design, build and test a Waterpoint Data Transmitter to determine its robustness, functionality and scalability. Results demonstrate that this novel application using simple micro-processor, accelerometer and GSM components has significant potential in recording graduated time-step information flows of lever pumps which can be modelled into a reasonable water volume use approximation. Given the systemic informational deficit for rural waterpoints in Africa, where one in three handpumps is likely to be non-functioning, this innovation has the potential to provide universal, low-cost and immediate data to guide timely maintenance responses and planning decisions, as well as drive greater accountability and transparency in donor and government behaviour.

I'm a big proponent of the crawl, walk, run approach. I believe that this project is a small step in the right direction to use technology to support the most basic needs of people; access to water. I'm interested in your feedback.

Do you think this technolgy will work to improve the lives of the people in these remote areas in Africa?
Do you think that the "on-pump" technology will be stolen?
 
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8 June 2012
Stolen?  No.  Sensors and circuit boards in monitors like this are small and basic - not worth stealing.   Additionally, a number of sensors can be combined into a single unit, and several devices and conditions can be monitored in a very cost efficient manner.  

Random inspections and maintenance are very time-consuming and costly, and monitoring use and failure of pumps should return significant benefits.

Scale is not a huge issue, as these monitors can cost less than a dollar each, even when manufactured by hand in low quantities.  The bulk of cost is in sustained monitoring and notification, and commercial solutions are already available.

This same technology would be employed in my proposal for a rail medical delivery system of clinics and refrigeration for vaccines.
Current Rating: Overall rating 15 Innovation 5 | Feasibility 5 | Expertise 5
 
 
2
8 June 2012
Yes, it seems beneficial to have a system that would improve maintenance of handpumps in remote areas without the need of the users to report dys-functionment (by phone I suppose, which is not a given accessible technology in some area).
However, I would wonder of the cost of such system and to which extend it would be less costly than sending ingeniors/techniciens to repare the pump either in inspection expedition, or via on-call mission (when user report a dys-functionment).
The interest of this technology may also depend on the scale of the project (centralizing information and dispatching to more local reparator teams); and on the informatic and material maintenance of the technology in itself.
For the concern over the potential temptations for stealing/degradating of technology installed on the pumps itself, I would suggest a small scale trial woudl give some answers. Moreover, if the technology is made to be not visually noticeable, it could decrease such possibilities.
Current Rating: Overall rating 20 Innovation 3.5 | Feasibility 3.5 | Expertise 3
 
8 June 2012 — 
Maillet,

Very interesting suggestions.  I would encourage you to go to the link that I just included in the question to read more about the system
8 June 2012 — 
the link for the full paper can be found here:

http://www.iwaponline.com/jh/up/HYDRO-D-11-00183.pdf
 
3
25 July 2013
Thank you very much!!

Usually, coming from the focused areas of health and epidemiology and with my backgrounds in advanced mathematics and the computational sciences, I often apply methods from gravitational field theory when looking at issues impactive to large scale human and fauna populations such as those needing access to adequate amounts of clean and potable water and the appropriate, adaptive, and sustainable technologies used to produce such water access.

Necessary and appropriate use of the intellectual tools supportive to all our society's high technology hardware and fieldsite apparati when they are transferred to applications found in the un and under developed worlds must be assured so practitioners theresoto using and thus located will and must always understand and carry forth safely and securely those societally embedded technologies and their supporting thinkings or the desperately needed outcomes of said human and humane use and applications will surely and definitely fail!!

I deeply appreciate your taking the time to consider and pose this.

Cordially yours,  ELYAS ISAACS in the City of New York
July 25, 2013
Current Rating: Overall rating 0 Innovation 0 | Feasibility 0 | Expertise 0
 
 
4
25 July 2013
This might help:  ==>>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitation_%28book%29


Yours, ELYAS ISAACS
Current Rating: Overall rating 0 Innovation 0 | Feasibility 0 | Expertise 0
 
 

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  • Replied by Maillet Emeline on Friday, June 08 2012, 12:09 PM · Hide · #1
    Yes, it seems beneficial to have a system that would improve maintenance of handpumps in remote areas without the need of the users to report dys-functionment (by phone I suppose, which is not a given accessible technology in some area).
    However, I would wonder of the cost of such system and to which extend it would be less costly than sending ingeniors/techniciens to repare the pump either in inspection expedition, or via on-call mission (when user report a dys-functionment).
    The interest of this technology may also depend on the scale of the project (centralizing information and dispatching to more local reparator teams); and on the informatic and material maintenance of the technology in itself.
    For the concern over the potential temptations for stealing/degradating of technology installed on the pumps itself, I would suggest a small scale trial woudl give some answers. Moreover, if the technology is made to be not visually noticeable, it could decrease such possibilities.
    • David Sherman - more than a month ago
      Maillet,

      Very interesting suggestions. I would encourage you to go to the link that I just included in the question to read more about the system
    • David Sherman - more than a month ago
      the link for the full paper can be found here:

      http://www.iwaponline.com/jh/up/HYDRO-D-11-00183.pdf
  • Replied by dave comstock on Friday, June 08 2012, 01:42 PM · Hide · #2
    Stolen? No. Sensors and circuit boards in monitors like this are small and basic - not worth stealing. Additionally, a number of sensors can be combined into a single unit, and several devices and conditions can be monitored in a very cost efficient manner.

    Random inspections and maintenance are very time-consuming and costly, and monitoring use and failure of pumps should return significant benefits.

    Scale is not a huge issue, as these monitors can cost less than a dollar each, even when manufactured by hand in low quantities. The bulk of cost is in sustained monitoring and notification, and commercial solutions are already available.

    This same technology would be employed in my proposal for a rail medical delivery system of clinics and refrigeration for vaccines.
  • Replied by Dr. Elyas F. Isaacs;PhD,PhD,DPH,DDiv.,MD(CC/PH) on Thursday, July 25 2013, 11:21 AM · Hide · #3
    Thank you very much!!

    Usually, coming from the focused areas of health and epidemiology and with my backgrounds in advanced mathematics and the computational sciences, I often apply methods from gravitational field theory when looking at issues impactive to large scale human and fauna populations such as those needing access to adequate amounts of clean and potable water and the appropriate, adaptive, and sustainable technologies used to produce such water access.

    Necessary and appropriate use of the intellectual tools supportive to all our society's high technology hardware and fieldsite apparati when they are transferred to applications found in the un and under developed worlds must be assured so practitioners theresoto using and thus located will and must always understand and carry forth safely and securely those societally embedded technologies and their supporting thinkings or the desperately needed outcomes of said human and humane use and applications will surely and definitely fail!!

    I deeply appreciate your taking the time to consider and pose this.

    Cordially yours, ELYAS ISAACS in the City of New York
    July 25, 2013
  • Replied by Dr. Elyas F. Isaacs;PhD,PhD,DPH,DDiv.,MD(CC/PH) on Thursday, July 25 2013, 11:25 AM · Hide · #4
    This might help: ==>>

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitation_%28book%29


    Yours, ELYAS ISAACS
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