UCT CS Research Document Archive

WATER alert!: using mobile phones to improve community perspective on drinking water quality in South Africa

Brown, Deana, Gary Marsden and Ulrike Rivett (2012) WATER alert!: using mobile phones to improve community perspective on drinking water quality in South Africa. In Proceedings Fifth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD '12), pages 230-240.

Full text available as:
PDF - Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF viewer.

Abstract

Drinking water quality, in many parts of South Africa, is far below acceptable standards. With a high number of illnesses and deaths in the country due to diarrheal diseases, the impact is critical. This research addresses the challenge of reporting complex and critical water quality information in a way that is accessible to all South Africans. High illiteracy rates, the presence of 11 official languages and limited-to-no access to technology in many areas, present some of the major challenges to the design of an alert notification and reporting system. We describe the design of WATER Alert!, a symbol-based prototype mobile phone application to alert and report water quality information to consumers and allow for citizen involvement in water management. Our findings from a preliminary evaluation revealed that WATER Alert! is simple to use and has a perceived usefulness amongst participants. The findings also suggest that such an application would help to improve consumers' understanding of water quality information leading to an improved Community Perspective on drinking water quality.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Subjects:H Information Systems: H.5 INFORMATION INTERFACES AND PRESENTATION
ID Code:796
Deposited By:Marsden, Gary
Deposited On:16 October 2012