Access to water in India is a bit complicated and dependent on your social status. Most middle-class families have an automated pump, which senses the flow of water when it is on. It then fills up a tank to store water for later. For lower-class families, they have to wait until the utility switches the pipes on and be ready to receive water by hand, which often means they spend hours waiting.
Pronita Saxena, a Bangalore resident, has created NextDrop to improve access to clean water in India, especially for poorer families. The app works with mobile phone technology to make the water supply system more responsive.
The systems works by getting alerts from the "valvemen" who turn on the water supply in particular neighborhoods. The app then inputs that information into a map of the water pressure in the city, which alerts users to when they can expect to have water. This ensures that people don't have to spend their days waiting for the water to begin flowing in their neighborhoods.
"We've created the first live valve map where [a utility] can tell the areas that got water two days ago and those that are getting water today," Saxena said. "They can actually monitor the system, which is something they didn't have before."
NextDrop has already worked on a project in Hubli-Dharwad, a city in southern India. Saxena said there are already 20,000 families using the system, and they will soon be working with valvemen in Bangalore.
Learn more about NextDrop in the video below.