Simple water testing for a healthier world
The Water Canary is an open source, water quality monitor system that wants to provide an alternative to the slow and expensive processes mainly being deployed in field work today.
The CEO and founder of the company Sonaar Luthra was inspired to start working on the project after seeing the spread of the first cholera outbreak in more than 50 years in Haiti.
"If we had been able to identify where cholera was -- and where it was not -- we had all the tools to contain the problem. It was just that missing piece of information." Says Sonaar in an interview with Wired.
The device analyzes water samples for contamination almost instantly using light and wavelength readings which is much faster when compared to traditional testing using chemical reactions (that need between 14 and 24 hours to incubate). Using simple red and green indicator LEDs the device alerts a user to potential water quality problems and then shares the collected data via built-in GPS and GSM to an online service that maps and distributes the information.
By collecting data from thousands of the devices the system can empower governments and workers on the ground with real-time water contamination date that they could use to help isolate contaminated areas and keep a problem from turning into a larger issue.
You can find out more details about the initiative at: Watercanary.com or by watching Sonaar explain the system during his short Ted talk below: