By harnessing new technologies, the developing world has been getting crucial information about its water systems. Android, one of the most popular smartphone brands, has recently released an app that can help people in developing nations detect if the water they have access to is clean.

The new app is called FLOW, or Field Levels Operations Watch. FLOW also lets people in developing nations take pictures of broken water pumps. FLOW is monitored by nonprofit charities which respond to the complaints and posted photos. These charities install new, working water pumps in order to grant people in struggling nations access to potable water.

According to Ned Breslin, CEO of the water charity called Water for People, it is crucial to install working water pumps as soon as possible. Breslin explains that during one of his previous trips to Ghana, he met a mother who had lost her child due to contaminated water caused by a broken water pump. He believes that the Android app can provide instant and crucial steps toward accessing clean water.

According to Breslin, the Android app provides anyone who comes into contact with a broken water pump an opportunity to fix the problem.  Along with the picture, FLOW provides the GPS positioning of the broken water pump so that water charities know exactly where to go in order to fix the problem.

Overall, charities as well as people in developing nations have given positive feedback to the developers. In turn, developers predict that the app will be replicated by other nonprofits in the future.

– Stephanie Olaya

Sources: Filters Fast, CNET