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Safe Drinking Water for Poor Households via Data-Driven Vehicular Water Delivery

Casey Brown of the University of Massachusetts in the U.S. will design and test a water supply platform that uses digital technology to integrate vehicular water delivery with existing water infrastructure to provide affordable access to safe drinking water for poor and vulnerable households. Existing public water infrastructure in low- and middle-income areas provides water at lower costs but are often poorly maintained and unable to meet the quality and quantity of water needed by rapidly growing cities. This has led to additional water being supplied directly to households in need by tankers owned by private companies. This is a valuable service but expensive, and water quality is often poor. They have a fully integrated digital simulation model of the water system in Mexico City, a system maintenance cost model, road network data, household water use data, and surveys of water vendor cost and pricing data. Using these data, they will perform advanced analytics to design an integrated water delivery system that identifies priority delivery locations and cost-effective suppliers and supply routes for safe water. This prototype will be evaluated for financial viability, scalability to other regions, and cost effectiveness compared to extending the existing infrastructure.

More information about Innovation for WASH in Urban Settings (Round 22)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.