Stevens Water Joins Portland State University to Provide Innovative Data Acquisition Solutions Designed to Improve Health and Save Lives
Additional project partners include the Lemelson Foundation and Mercy Corps
Stevens Water Monitoring Systems, Inc. has joined Portland State University’s Sustainable Water, Energy and Environmental Technologies Laboratory (SWEETLab) to help develop innovative technology for monitoring access to clean water for drinking and sanitation, as well as tracking the use of cook stoves and other simple devices designed to improve health and quality of life for people around the world.
Nearly one billion people lack access to safe drinking water, two billion have inadequate sanitation facilities, and many of the same people rely on low-efficiency cooking methods, which release toxic fumes and waste precious energy and resources. Combined, these conditions are the leading causes of death and economic insecurity. Many international organizations address these problems by providing aid to rural villages in developing countries through education and implementation of new technology. However, usage of such technology usually relies on self-reporting, which is unintentionally biased by participants to show positive results and can undermine the effectiveness of international aid campaigns.
Recently, the Portland State University SWEETLab in partnership with Stevens Water Monitoring Systems started development on several projects to incorporate automatic usage monitoring (SWEETSense) and on-line data reporting (SWEETData) with products designed to improve health such as a high-efficiency cookstove being distributed by the Lemelson Foundation.
The SWEETSense cookstove monitoring package includes thermocouples and CO/CO2 sensors to derive usage and stove emissions data, and relay the data remotely via GRPS to the SWEETData web site using the power of Stevens-Connect cloud computing platform. Partners in Indonesia and around the world have access to this valuable data.
Diagram of SWEETSense-enabled sensors reporting monitoring data to the internet via SWEETData and Stevens-Connect.
Mercy Corps is another organization focused on improving the living conditions of people world-wide. One of their current projects towards improving sanitation is to measure the usage and correlation between people using a latrine and then a hand-washing station. Utilizing a new low-powered, low-profile flow meter and data logging system developed by Stevens Water and the SWEETLab, Mercy Corps will have quantifiable information to enhance the understanding of rural sanitation activities to provide better resources for outreach and education.
Example of measured data being reported on the SWEETData website for analysis.
Field-trials of these new data acquisition technologies are currently in process. Stevens Water is proud to partner with SWEETLab and others to help improve accountability and to encourage usage of products designed to save lives. For more information regarding the SWEETLab, please visit www.sweetlab.org.