Water is vital for life, and is under increasing stress. Addressing increasing water stress, especially in the face of climate change is going to take informed action from all levels - from governments to water infrastructure providers to individual users.
Water usage on a country, district and city-wide scale is monitored, and use for individual homes and businesses is known, but the granularity of looking at water usage needs to improve. Water providers often see buildings as black boxes that water comes into and goes out of, but how it is used inside isn’t readily studied - nor are there many tools to do so. We’re developing a networked open hardware acoustic-based water use sensor, Open Droplet, that can be used to understand water use in different settings to try to understand how water is used in a building, and to provide immediate and contextualised feedback to the user about their water consumption.
With IoT devices, there is often an implicit suggestion that the onus is on the individual to effect change. While it’s important for individuals to take action - in this case on water usage - we need to be aware of how individual use fits into the broader system of water provision. This can vary widely from place to place, and has a significant impact on how the data should be interpreted and what action needs to be taken.
The foundation of contextualising water usage are similar to those underpinning the session on the future of disaster response . Indeed, the long term aim of working on Open Droplet is to allow for community sensing that will be useful in times of crisis as well as being fundamental to resilience.
Through the session I’d love to explore with the group the different concepts that need to be considered in providing a holistic view of the water use system, including considering collecting data from all important water consumers, and investigating how aspects of an environment - for instance the prevalence of non-permeable surfaces, or the size of storm drains - affect the overall water availability in an area, and how this is best communicated through a digital platform.
The focus of the session is to look at expanding the IoT paradigm, exploring how we can facilitate water stewardship with a two-way data flow between individual water users and water providers, and helping to facilitate new types of community water stewardship with this digital information. The session probably most readily fits into the Physical Assets stream, as it ultimately is about water, but the route to understanding and action is through Digital Assets. Initially I’m thinking the session will look at the following questions - but I’d love to have this evolve:
- Expanding IoT - What data do we need to have from city and infrastructure providers to give useful context to individual water use?
- How do we responsibly approach the individual's rights to their data?
- How do requirements for water stewardship vary around the globe? How do we accommodate these differences?
Date: 2014-10-25 10:30:00 - 2014-10-25 10:30:00, Europe/Berlin Time.