The Aquatest project is a multi-disciplinary international research programme to develop a low-cost, sustainable water test that can be used widely in low-resource settings in developing countries. The research is conducted by a consortium led by the University of Bristol, and includes the World Health Organisation, University of California – Berkeley, University of Southampton, University of Cape Town, PATH, Aquaya Institute and the UK Health Protection Agency.
iCOMMS was tasked with the design and development of the Water Quality Reporter cell phone application for transferring recorded water quality results and observed aspects (risk assessment, sanitary inspection forms) to a centralised database. UCT was further responsible for:
Integration of water quality results into existing information systems using open-source software
Development of a feedback loop between communities and supporting authorities, e.g. information regarding status of water quality, routine water quality information, targeted requests
Assessment of water quality information flow impact over one to two years – a joint effort by UCT, the University of California - Berkeley, the University of Bristol and the World Health Organisation.
The study was conducted in a cross-section of developing countries, targeting professional and semi-professional users working in rural environments. This includes municipal officials as well as community water committees, supply caretakers or dedicated community resource persons, with the emphasis on community management level.