SmartPhones4Water October 2017 Newsletter!

We apologize; we're running a little behind behind schedule with this newsletter. You were supposed to be reading it a little over a week ago at the end of September, but don't worry, we have a good excuse for being late. We've been busy with a lot of exciting updates that we can't wait to tell you about :)

SmartPhones4Water (S4W) seeks to leverage the power of mobile technology and citizen science to enrich lives in the developing world by improving our understanding and management of water resources, and work is currently underway on our first pilot project in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal (S4W-Nepal). You can see a map of the project area below. Keep reading for an update on our Monsoon Data Collection Effort, the 3D-LUC Campaign, our first annual S4W-Nepal Groundwater Workshop, an exciting project being done by a graduate students from TU Delft, and finally, ways that you can be involved and support us. We appreciate your interest in our work!

2017 Monsoon Season Data Collection Update!

S4W-Nepal has been busy collecting monsoon rainfall data!  We have enlisted over 130 citizen scientists from a variety of educational backgrounds and interests in our pursuit to better understand precipitation patterns in the Kathmandu Valley.  Out of these citizen scientists, a core team of between 40 and 50 citizen scientists has formed, and we look forward to continued data collection from this team throughout the dry season and then on into the 2018 monsoon!  In the coming months we are planning on reviewing, quality controlling, and using the data in a variety of analyses.  We are also working on a web application for people to view and interact with these data.  S4W-Nepal learned a lot this first monsoon, and we eagerly await the opportunity to apply these lessons in the coming year.

3D-LUC Campaign Launched!!!

S4W-Nepal is pleased to announce that our month-long SmartPhones4Water Dashai Dhunge Dhaara - Land Use Classification Campaign (S4W 3D-LUC Campaign) has been successfully launched.  Dashai is the largest festival in Nepal, and Dhunge Dhaara means stone spout (maybe you've read about these before).  We received a total of 16 excellent applications from undergraduate students and were challenged to select the six candidates for the position.  S4W 3D-LUC is a month long campaign for field measurements of stone spouts discharge and water quality and also land use classification data collection in Kathmandu Valley. The primary objectives of the campaign are to further our understanding of land use, the impacts of the monsoon on stone spout water flow and quality, and to motivate undergraduate students to participate in water related research activities.

1st Annual S4W-Nepal Groundwater Workshop!

Our first annual groundwater workshop last month was a success with over 60 enthusiastic participants.  Rajaram Prajapati and Jeff Davids presented research on how stream flow data can be used to perform stream reach water balances to better characterize net per capita water production and ultimately improve our understanding of the per capita groundwater pumping rates in the Valley.  Dr. Suresh Das Shrestha shared an excellent presentation on the groundwater system in the Kathmandu Valley including discussions of the present status, challenges, and opportunities moving forward.  A special thanks to all those who participated.

Speaking of groundwater, S4W-Nepal has also launched monthly groundwater level measurements of the shallow aquifer in 60 different locations.  We have roughly 50 citizen scientists taking these measurements, and we are motivating them to participate in the monitoring by performing periodic evaluations of their water quality (three times a year) and then freely providing this information to them.

TU Delft MDP Group

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is one of our project partners, and they currently have a team of six Civil Engineering MSc students about halfway through a ten week multi-disciplinary project (MDP) that is focused on answering the following four questions in the Kathmandu Valley:
  1. What is the impact of land use on groundwater recharge?
  2. What is the impact of land use on water quality in stone spouts, wells and streams?
  3. What is the impact of the monsoon on stone spouts, wells and streams in terms of water quality?
  4. Is it possible to adjust the citizen scientist precipitation data with a low, non-continuous temporal resolution with global precipitation measurement (GPM) data that has a high temporal resolution?
We are honored to be partnering with them in this effort that aligns so well with our own objectives and desires in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal!

Finally, included below is a collage we've created of our staff and citizen scientists at work collecting data!

Get Involved! Donate Phones or Cold Hard Cash!

If you'd like to participate or invest in what we're doing in a small (or large) way, we are always looking for both old SmartPhone donations or monetary donations. With either one, 100% of your donation will go directly to on-the-ground work in Nepal! You can find out more information about these opportunities below.

Cell Phone Donations
Do you have an old SmartPhone sitting on a shelf or in a drawer somewhere collecting dust? Well, we can use it! Immediately!  Many people living in the rural outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley are interested in becoming citizen scientists, but don't have a compatible GSM Android phone with working camera and GPS to perform the necessary measurements. Your old SmartPhone can make a difference by providing an educational or employment opportunity for a citizen scientist and by generating critical water data in the Kathmandu Valley!

Each citizen scientist records their data observations using a SmartPhone app developed using the ODK platform (read more about this here). As our team of citizen scientists continues to expand, we are looking for phone donations that can be used by our team to collect this important data. All phones that are able to be used in Nepal will be given to citizen scientists to record data observations; all other phones will be recycled and 100% of the funds generated will go towards continuing work in Nepal.

Phone donations from the USA or internationally can be shipped to the following address:

3881 Benatar Way, Suite G
Chico, CA 95928

Monetary Donations
If you don't have an old cell phone, not to worry, you probably have some money and we're willing to take that too :)

We have a donation account set up through CrowdRise that you can find here. Apart from the percentage of every donation that CrowdRise takes for their operations, 100% of your donation will go directly to on-the-ground work in Nepal (i.e. S4W-Nepal salaries and expenses). No money will be used for western (i.e. USA) overhead, including salaries and expenses.

S4W-Nepal Stories!

In case you just can't get enough, here are some other stories about our work. Each month we publish either an interview with a citizen scientist or science story about what we're doing. Check them out below! :)

Citizen Scientist Interviews
Developing a Monitoring Network
Collecting Data with SmartPhones and Citizen Scientists
Data Making a Difference - Flow Measurement at Stone Spouts

If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading our entire newsletter! Look for the next one in about three months! In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you :)
Copyright © 2017 SmartPhones4Water, All rights reserved.

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3881 Benatar Way, Suite G
Chico, CA 95928

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SmartPhones4Water · 3881 Benatar Way, Suite G · Chico, CA 95928 · USA

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