07 Dec 2021

u-blox and charity: water partner to leverage the power of IoT to bring clean drinking water to the world’s most vulnerable

Sensor devices across Africa and Asia create a new path for water sustainability.


Founded in 2006, charity: water has been chasing one ambitious goal: ending the global water crisis. 785 million people lack basic access to clean and safe drinking water. And while the water crisis is huge, they are optimistic because they know how to solve the problem, and thanks to the help of local partners and generous supporters, they are making progress every day. charity: water believes if we work together, everyone will have access to life’s most basic need within our lifetime.

As part of charity: water’s efforts to guarantee the sustainability of water projects, a special program to develop a remote sensor device was launched in 2012. Since then, charity: water has deployed over 7,000 sensor devices across Africa and Asia.

Rolling out across Uganda, India, and Ghana

Now devices of a new model developed by charity: water - the India Mark II hand pump – will be rolling out soon across Uganda, India and Sierra Leone utilizing SARA-U201 cellular modules and MAX-8C GNSS modules donated by u-blox.

“Our engineers specified the u-blox SARA-U201 and MAX-8C modules for the initial build of our new India Mark ll hand pump”, explained Christoph Gorder, Chief Global Water Officer, charity: water. “When we approached u-blox about our project and its potential impact, they were really supportive, both in terms of donating the modules devices and by providing our team with technical support integrating to our cloud. We are looking forward to a long and impactful partnership with the team at u-blox.”

“When charity: water and u-blox innovation converge to provide some of the world’s most vulnerable people with clean drinking water, we are happy to be of support and look forward to working together into the future,” said Thomas Seiler, CEO, u-blox.

A new path for sustainability in the water sector

charity: water created a new path for sustainability in the water sector when they invented the first-ever remote sensor to monitor rural water points and put the power of leading-edge IoT and cloud computing technology to work for the world’s poorest people. The innovation generates an unprecedented amount of data, at a nominal cost, on the performance of water systems in rural communities across the developing world. This data empowers public and private sector actors to rapidly identify and respond to breakdowns, avoid service interruptions and ultimately create the tools to build a pay-for-results financing model for future infrastructure investments.

charity: water technology is designed to serve the demands of the most isolated and small communities, transforming the entire maintenance model in remote areas  —  improving everything from upkeep schedules to payment models — reducing downtime and keeping water flowing. What is most unique about charity: water devices is their scalability and affordability. $250 is the cost for each sensor device, including 10 years of data transmission  —  less than 2% of the cost of a drilled well.

Inside the India Mark II hand pump


India Mark II hand pump

The voice and data capable u-blox SARA-U201 supports a wide range of industrial and automotive telematics and consumer applications that must be able to operate on any 2G or 3G network in the world. The u-blox SARA-U201 in each charity: water India Mark II hand pump is pre-integrated with a u-blox AssistNow client connecting it to the MAX-8C GNSS module (optimized for cost sensitive applications with the lowest power consumption) and transmitting real-time data to the charity: water cloud.

Discover more:  
Video charity: water The Pipeline
Video charity: water The Spring

Gitte Jensen

Gitte Jensen

Principal Investor Relations and CSR
Swiss media and financial analysts

You might also be interested in