Water Canary Uses GPS to Source Global Water Issues

The Water Canary, a device unveiled at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland, uses GPS and Crowdsourcing to identify global water problems. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 3.5 million people die each year due to water related issues. Water Canary looks to release real time information on potential outbreaks of disease infested water. Users can test water with the device instantly and the device then sends data as well as location information about the water wirelessly. More than testing water, the purpose of the device is to gather location information and identify regions with problematic water.

Gathers information for diseased water

Gathers information for diseased water



The device uses light and measures wavelengths to gather information on the water it's testing. When the user sees a red light flashing, it indicates problematic water. The company's founder, Sonaar Luthra says, "It’s not ever going to replace a lab, but maybe we don’t need that to make better decisions. We’re not trying to compete with water testing companies. What will hopefully happen is if you get enough red readings in an area you’ll take a more extensive kit there to do a more extensive reading of the area."


Luthra wants to be able to make the device free for users in order for it to meet its purpose. To meet costs, he wants to sell the data, as well as keep his technology open sourced, where other companies can build their own versions of the Water Canary. Each Water Canary is hand-made and costs between $100-$200 (Rs. 4,450 - Rs. 8,902).

Published Date: Jul 15, 2011 10:56 am | Updated Date: Jul 15, 2011 10:56 am