The 'clean water' field survey CHALLENGE

Copyright:  WaterAid/Dieter Telemans

Copyright:  WaterAid/Dieter Telemans

663 million people in the world do not have access to safe water.

(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2015 update)

every day volunteers search for water issues in villages and settlements.

Since 1981 wateraid have reached 25 million people with safe water.


Surveying water quality in villages and settlements

Copyright:  WaerAid/ Layton Thompson

Copyright:  WaerAid/ Layton Thompson

Part of the charities work involves volunteers investigating water quality in remote villages and settlements, not just once but regularly to understand the overall level of water access, quality and sanitation. 

This work is vital.  Our volunteers are often local people and members of the community. 

Fitting time in for regular and frequent water site testing can be difficult.



Currently this is a manual task with paper and complex forms.  It's not surprising that the field data received is inconsistent and often poor quality.   

Missing odd readings and not returning complete data can often mean its hard to get a true picture of the real situation.


The competition!

Work with Northumbrian Waters team of Water Innovators to solve a unique challenge?

Can you help us get better field data from settlements? 

Design a working mobile app for Android which simplifies and provides an incentive for Wateraid volunteer hygiene promoters to record their findings as they work in under developed and remote parts of the world?

The volunteers check water sources, drinking quality, and check for water sanitation, foulness and risk to village communities in Africa.

The application will be used to enable the volunteer team to better report their visits (four per household over the project cycle) and register key trends.

NOTE:  You don't have to build the mobile application - we want your ideas on how it might work as a storyboard or Powerpoint (unless you want to).  The Water Innovators will work with you to realise the winning design.

Simply register today and submit your ideas by 5pm on the 2nd September


There are £1,000 worth of cash prizes for the winning entries.

  • £500 overall winner prize

  • £250 best innovation

  • £250 best practical concept

See your application developed and used in the field!

WaterAid are keen to be able to further develop the application and role it out in operations.  Although not Garaunteed it is hoped the winning application will be in live operations within a few months following the competition.



WaterAid is an international charity, founded by the UK water industry in 1981.

WaterAid is working to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030. Together, these basic human rights underpin health, education and livelihoods, forming the first essential step in overcoming poverty.

With teams working in 37 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific region and Europe, WaterAid works with local partners to reach the poorest and most marginalised people with sustainable services, and calls on governments to provide these solutions for everyone everywhere.

Northumbrian Water has continued to raise funds and awareness since helping establish WaterAid in 1981.

Last year alone Northumbrian Water Group raised an incredible £284,011 for WaterAid.

In 2015, Northumbrian Water launched a new five-year partnership with WaterAid aiming to raise £1 million to support the delivery of clean water and safe toilets to some of Madagascar’s poorest communities. In doing so, Northumbrian Water will be helping to bring clean water and sanitation to over 70,000 people.

To find out more about WaterAid’s work why not watch the video (Right).

In November 2014, Janine Scott from Northumbrian Water visited Uganda on a WaterAid fact-finding Mission with 13 other WaterAid supporters from water companies across the UK.

WaterAid's world vision map:  Download here

Find out more - go to