IBM has released a mobile app intended to help citizens in South Africa report water leaks and broken pipes both through the app and via text messaging.
The WaterWatchers app is part of the company’s crowdsourcing project aimed at giving citizens tools to help create a map of the country’s water distribution system, IBM said Friday.
WaterWatchers is available on Android devices and intends to report user data to local municipalities, water system stakeholders and control boards.
A central database collects the data from users, then populates the data into a leak hot spot map for public officials after 30 days, according to the company.
“We encourage every person to become a “˜citizen scientist“™- to engage with the environment and help create a big picture map of our water leaks and issues,” said Ahmed Simjee, an IBM Smarter Planet executive in South Africa.
“WaterWatchers represents a new kind of data aggregation, analytics and visualization for water planners in South Africa,” Simjee added.
IBM created a similar app for San Jose, Calif., named CreekWatch and used in more than 25 countries.