Today, water scarcity is a global crisis. Not just in Africa or India, but from the USA to the UK. To help address this growing problem, IBM is applying smart technologies at scale with purpose and knowledge to monitor water resources that supply water to people living in arid areas in Northern Kenya. Through a cloud-based Water Management as a Service Platform, IBM is helping to improve the management of water resources.

IBM Smart Water Management


How cloud helps monitor water in arid areas

Traditionally water shortages in arid areas were addressed by investing in infrastructure and drilling more boreholes to increase supply and then handing them over to communities with limited capacity to maintain them. However, many of these boreholes fail within a few years of being installed and are often abandoned and fall into disuse.

IBM collaborated with SweetSense Inc. to build an IoT network of water flow sensors in Northern Kenya to support the Kenya RAPID (Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development) program by The Millennium Water Alliance. This program funded by USAID and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation brings stakeholders and communities together to improve water, sanitation and hygiene services.

IBM Research-Africa developed a cloud-hosted water management platform which uses sensors to provide supply and demand patterns based on groundwater extraction data and help water managers reduce water loss through leaks, theft or metering inaccuracies.

IBM has instrumented critical boreholes in northern Kenya. When these boreholes fail, a signal is automatically sent from the flow sensor that is installed at the water point. It issues a ticket to the repair and maintenance team who can respond to the failure and repair the borehole in a timely manner. As a result, the water points can remain operational for a much longer time.

Smart Technology for good:

IBM is helping utilities boost efficiency with sustainable practices that can be good for the planet and the bottom line.

IBM is helping to enable smarter environmental practices for a cleaner, more sustainable future.

We want communities to thrive and have control over their own destinies, especially with regards to access to water.


Dr. Aisha Walcott-Bryant, PhD - IBM Research - Africa

Key benefits of IBM Water Management as a Service platform

  • Can be used to create a database and interactive map to help locate and maintain the water points across the counties. View the map
  • Can collect water usage, breakage and repair data from boreholes that are monitored by SweetSense
  • Can help deliver a detailed view of governance within each of the counties, associated responsibilities and contact information

Related IBM solutions:

IBM Cloud is the cloud for smarter business.

IBM Watson Internet of Things can unlock the power of your data.

Forecast: Change

The Weather Channel and IBM are committed to changing the forecast on clean water scarcity for good. Together, we’re not only raising awareness about the issue – we’re donating $1,000,000 worth of clean water this year to those in need.

clean water

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