Data drip: 'Smart' handpumps send signal that water has run out
Installing handpumps in far-flung villages has long been a favourite activity of aid agencies and development NGOs. But the pumps rarely last forever: at any given time, only two of every three handpumps in rural areas are actually working. That's precisely the problem a team of researchers at Oxford University are trying to tackle. They have created a device that uses mobile phone technology to generate – and transmit – data on handpump use in rural Kenya. They hope their approach will ultimately help to improve water access in drought-stricken areas.