Staff Writer
PR & Influence
IBM Solutions Are Helping Communities in Arid Regions Access Water

Water scarcity is becoming an increasingly serious global problem: by 2025, it is estimated that half of the world’s population will live in areas with restricted access to clean water. Given that the human body can only survive for three or four days without water, this is an urgent issue — and one which can be addressed using smart solutions.

This World Water Week, IBM travelled to Northern Kenya to demonstrate how cloud-based technologies can be implemented at scale to monitor the supply of water in real time, leading to more effective water resource management and empowering communities in the process.

Working with SweetSense Inc., IBM created a network of connected water flow sensors and a cloud platform which generated supply and demand patterns based on groundwater extraction data. This has enabled water managers to reduce the kind of water loss that occurs via leaks, theft, or inaccurate meter readings.

The IBM Water Management as a service platform provides a more efficient alternative to the historic means of addressing water shortages. This involved drilling additional boreholes, which would often fall into disuse due to a lack of capacity on the part of the community when it came to maintaining them. Now, when a borehole fails, a sensor will immediately flag the issue, and a repair team will be dispatched, ultimately minimising disruption to water access.

As the platform collects more data regarding water usage, borehole breakages and repairs, it can then be used to create a database and up-to-date map of water points across the region, and deliver detailed recommendations on governance.

A team from Ogilvy Singapore joined IBM in Nairobi for World Water Week, to help demonstrate how the platform works, and tell the story of how such a simple smart solution can have a huge impact on local communities and turn lives around.

By applying cloud technologies, IBM have been able to hand local communities the tools and insights to proactively manage their own water resources right now, and for years to come.

To find out more about the IBM Water Management, visit 

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