In the wake of the Flint crisis, communities turn to innovative technology and financing to prevent the next crisis.

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Most of the time, in developed countries, people can simply turn on a tap and receive potable water. In many developing countries that is not the case – and it seems the issue is becoming more prevalent in some areas of developed nations as well. So people are asking, what can we do to solve the issue?

Human feedback is especially important for systems that do not yet have smart meters or sensors. “Treating citizens like a sensor” is particularly popular in developing countries. In South Africa, people tested an IBM-sponsored app called WaterWatchers that allowed them to report issues like leaks, contamination or stream obstructions via their mobile phones.

If we want to automate these sytems, here is still the question of funding and how to update or replace systems that are 70 to 100 years old with sensors, smart meters, and data management.

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