August 18, 2012
Mobile technology boosts water security for the poor
Information technology is a powerful tool for experts working to provide secure access to water for personal use, food production and business in developing nations. Alert Net reports.
Giving poor people proper access to safe water and sanitation would save 2.5 million people a year from dying from diarrhoea and other diseases spread by a lack of hygiene, according to charity WaterAid.
The widespread availability of mobile phones has enabled the development of low-cost solutions aimed at improving water security and reducing poverty.
Three quarters of the world's 7 billion people have access to a mobile phone, according to a World Bank report. There are 6 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, of which almost 5 billion are in developing countries.
This is where mobile networks come in -- they have led to the development of communication services that aim to increase the transparency and reliability of water delivery. For example, mobile technology has allowed service providers to monitor water supply to prevent theft and leakages, while offering more effective repairs and billing.
But these innovative efforts still face huge political and logistical challenges, complicated by the risks linked to climate change, experts say.
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