A cheap and rapid water quality monitoring bio-index
Team Member: Dan Lam
Event Name: CGI U Commitments Challenge 2016
Peace Liz Sasha Musonge wrote -My fundraiser is about promoting civic science through creation of a cost-effective and rapid biotic index for water quality monitoring purposes. This applicability of the index will be simple so as to train grassroots communities in very remote areas to become local water stewards and take-charge of their water resources in the long run conserving them for future generations. This challenge involves the development and application of cost-effective water-quality monitoring for conservation of water resources. This is especially critical for water sources available to vulnerable communities in developing countries saddled with overwhelming poverty. By making use of biomonitoring, a tool will be developed that can help detect levels of different types of microorganisms that indicate the presence of potentially harmful contaminants in water sources. Although it does not test directly for the presence of harmful contaminants, the biotic composition signifies their presence or absence. This would go a long way to protecting communities from contamination as locations that are unfit for consumption would be classified and demarcated. Moreover, this challenge would not just look at the science but introduce communities to monitoring through the use of simplified technology. IMPLEMENTATION: The implementation phase would require the use of visualization tools that would be more engaging for communities. One of the objectives of this challenge will be to make use of multimedia and graphic capabilities of affordable computing to offer a new experience and incentivize communities to be more active stewards of conservation. The advent of computing alternatives such as the Raspberry Pi have opened the door for cost-effective applications in science, not to mention the computing skills that would better prepare communities for an increasingly computerized world.