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Internet of Things solutions to improve drinking water quality in Mérida, Mexico

December 2019. Smart Water initiative generates operational efficiencies in administering water quality tests, more effective management of pollutants, and increased household confidence in water quality knowledge

Qualcomm® Incorporated, through its Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ initiative; the Junta de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado de Yucatán (JAPAY), Yucatán’s public water authority; s::can; The Social Intelligence Unit; Grupo LAN and Colectividad Razonatura, announced their collaboration on the Smart Water initiative to improve drinking water quality in Mérida, Mexico.

Smart Water uses a 4G wireless network and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, including smart s::can sensors powered by Qualcomm wireless technologies and the Dime H2O mobile application to continuously monitor the city’s water quality and provide water administrators with instant access to accurate real-time data. The IoT based system sends alerts to JAPAY when water quality parameters are out of range, enabling immediate corrective action.

Up until October 2019, the Internet-based System of Things have produced eleven Water Quality Indices (ICA) which are accessed by JAPAY through the mobile application Dime H2O. This Index shows the position in the range of the water quality parameters, allowing for immediate corrective actions when necessary.

The initiative also features an education campaign. Members of the more than a 100 households in the Dolores Otero neighborhood were provided Qualcomm-enabled smartphones and the Dime H2O app, to access engaging multimedia content about how to prevent water contamination caused by human activities, to report problems such as water leaks, and to improve water management. The citizens can also use this app to access the Water Quality Index for the aquifer system serving their community.

Early results of the Smart Water initiative include operational efficiencies, as well as a more efficient management and improved public knowledge of water quality:

  • Based on the monitoring system of s::can sensors, JAPAY’s staff saves 80% of the time they spend in collecting and monitoring samples.
  • More than 2000 specific parameters measurements (DOC , TOC and nitrates) were collected in a period of only three days with the s::can monitoring system.
  • Nearly 100 percent of household representatives reported an increase in confidence in water quality knowledge, after their participation in the associated water education campaign activities.

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