Call For Code Winner Addresses Problem of Safe Drinking Water
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 26 November 2021

A team from India has been selected as the Grand Prize winner of IBM's 2021 Call For Code developer challenge with Saaf Water, an AI-powered IoT solution that provides feedback on water quality.


The Call for Code Global Challenge was launched by IBM and David Clark Cause in 2018 to develop tech that tackles some of the world’s biggest issues. 

According to IBM's Call for Code website:

Through the Call for Code initiative, you have the opportunity to build and contribute to sustainable, open source technology projects that address social and humanitarian issues. Call for Code is different from other tech for good initiatives in that top solutions are deployed to make a demonstrable difference in the communities with greatest need.

Statistics from the United Nations Human Rights Office, a partner in Call for Code, reveal that 2 billion around the world lack access to safely managed drinking water and for the team behind Saaf Water (“saaf” is a Hindi word for “clean”) the problem was personal. As explained in their video, team member Hrishikesh saw firsthand the danger of unsafe drinking water when his mother became ill by drinking from her village’s groundwater supply that was assumed to be safe. 

Their entry for Call for Code is a water quality sensor and analytics platform created, in particular, for people living in rural localities. It is an IoT and AI platform designed to regularly monitor the quality of groundwater and clearly communicate any issues not just to the authorities, but to local citizens as well. It comprises a low-power, cellular-enabled hardware component, designed to be universally compatible with various community pump types which monitors water characteristics such as total dissolved solids, turbidity, pH, electrical conductivity, and temperature. IBM Cloud and IBM Watson services are used to make water quality information accessible and easy to understand.

The video also notes how Project Owl, the winner of the inaugural 2018 Call for Code competition, inspired them to enter. Having seen how Project Owl had been successfully deployed with the support if the Call for Code open source community then decided to enter themselves and, having won this year, the team will now receive USD $200K, open source support from the Linux Foundation, and deployment support with the Call for Code ecosystem in order to bring Saaf Water to more communities around the world who have to gather water from unreliable sources.



More Information

IBM Call for Code

Saaf Water provides insights for safe water consumption

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 27 November 2021 )