In October 2007, after initial European Union funding, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the University of Bristol a grant to research and develop a user-friendly, low-cost water quality test that can be used on-site in developing country field conditions and to prepare for the future introduction of the test in developing countries.
Our vision is that by 2017, low-cost water testing devices will be widely used in 80 percent of developing countries. The devices will be used by water professionals, community groups and part-time/volunteer supply managers who won't need specialist scientific knowledge to use the test kits or interpret the results.
- A step-by-step video guide to using the Aquatest system
Your device doesn't support direct playback. Please download the video (MP4) instead.
Other organisations involved
*Civil, Chemistry, Child/Adolescent Health, Law and Policy Studies
The final stage of the Aquatest research and development process was to take the technology out of the lab and put the device in the hands of the end users.
In November 2011 an extensive pilot scheme began to test c.10,000 devices in the field in partnership with 17 organisations in 16 countries:
- Water suppliers: Kenya, Vietnam, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Cambodia, Bolivia, S. Africa, Mozambique, Canada
- Health surveillance agencies: Bolivia, S. Africa, Mozambique, Canada
- International NGOs and researchers: India, DRC. Somaliland, Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana
The Aquaya team conducting a landscaping survey to understand:
- who is responsible for water quality testing;
- current testing capacity;
- technologies in use; and
- constraints to water quality testing.
Following on site training, feedback was obtained on the experience of end-users and institutional managers through semi-structured interviews and direct observation of testing data.
Low-cost water testing
Regional drinking water sites
General drinking water resources
The following is a list of reports and working papers produced by participants of the Aquatest Project. The papers listed here are available in Acrobat PDF format and can be downloaded.
All of the information available below is protected by Copyright. Anyone wishing to use the whole or a substantial part of any of these papers must obtain the permission of the copyright owner(s).
- Journal article 139917: Bain, RES, Gundry, SW, Wright JA , Yang H, Pedley S & Bartram J. 'Accounting for water quality in MDG monitoring: lessons from five countries', Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 90, (pp. 228-235), 2012. ISSN: 0042-9686.
- Catalogue: 'A Summary Catalogue of Microbial Drinking Water tests for Low and Medium Resource Settings.' Bain, RES, Bartram, J, Elliott, M, Matthews, R, McMahan, L, Tung R , Chuang, P & Gundry SW. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9, (pp. 1609-1625), 2012.
- Journal article: Wright A Jim, Yang Hong, Rivett Ulrike, Gundry W Stephen, 'Public Perception of drinking water safety in South Africa 2002-2009: a repeated cross-sectional study'. BMC Public Health.2012,12:556 (doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-556)
- Journal article 137769: Wright JA, Yang H, Walker K, Pedley S, Elliott J & Gundry, SW. 'The H2S test versus standard indicator bacteria tests for faecal contamination of water: systematic review and meta-analysis', Trop Med Intl Health, (pp. -), 2011.
- Journal article 137842: Lucas PJ, Cabral C, Colford JM Jr (2011) Dissemination of Drinking Water Contamination Data to Consumers: A Systematic Review of Impact on Consumer Behaviors. PLoS ONE 6(6): e21098. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021098.
- Journal article: 'A comparative assessment of institutional frameworks for managing drinking water quality'. Rahman Zarah, Croker Jonny ; Kang Chang, Khush Ranjiv, Bartram Jamie (2011). Journal of water, sanitation and hygiene for development .2011, vol. 1, no4, pp. 242-258.
- Journal article 115200: Gundry, SW, Wright, JA, Conroy, R, du Preez, M, Ferro-Luzzi, A, Genthe, B, Moyo, S, Mutisi, C, Ndamba, J, Potgieter, N & Wood, D. 'Child dysentery in the Limpopo Valley: a cohort study of water, sanitation and hygiene risk factors', Journal of Water and Health, 7, Issue 2, (pp. 259-266), 2009. ISSN: 1477-8920 10.2166/wh.2009.032
- Journal article 116523: Jim Wright & Gundry, SW. 'Household characteristics associated with home water treatment: an analysis of the Egyptian Demographic and Health Survey', Journal of Water and Health, 7, (pp. 21-29), 2009. 10.2166/wh.2009.056.
- Journal article 116522: du Preez, M, Conroy, RM, Wright, JA, Moyo, S, Potgieter, N & Gundry, SW. 'Short Report: Use of Ceramic Water Filtration in the Prevention of Diarrheal Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Rural South Africa and Zimbabwe', American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 79, (pp. 696-701), 2008.
- Journal article 115198: Wright, JA, Gundry, SW & Conroy, R. 'A review of changing episode definitions and their effect on diarrhoeal morbidity estimates', Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 25, (pp. 448-455), 2007.
Journal Letters to the Editor
Letter: 'Boost Water Safety in Rural China.' Yang, Hong, Wright, J.A. and Gundry, Stephen (2012) Nature, 484, (318)(doi:10.1038/484318b).
Letter: 'China Sanitation.' Nature.
June 2010 - Aquaya
April 2010 - Aquaya/University of Bristol
September 2009 - University of Bristol
December 2009 - PATH
- Scientific American: "Improved but not always safe": Despite global efforts, more than.1 billion people are likely at risk for lack of clean water. UN Development goals for better drinking water have already been reached, but a closer look shows that the measures fail to truly account for the lack of access to safe water.
- SciDevNet: 'Safe water access goal further away than previously thought.' Aregu Baklleh.
- SciDevNet: 'Water monitoring 'easier' with free mobile phone app.' Lia Labuschagne.
- Conference presentation: 'Reporting Water Quality - A case study of a Mobile Phone Application for Collection of Data in Developing Countries.' ICT4D Conference, Atlanta US.
Planned conference papers
- Conference presentation: 'Information Systems and Water Quality Management - reviewing the relationship between data collection, information creation and decision making.' WISA, Cape Town, South Africa.
- Conference presentation: 'Using Mobile Phones to Monitor and Manage Water Supply Quality in Rural Environments.'
- Conference presentation: Wright, J.A., Okotto, J., Yang, H., Pedley, S. and Gundry, S. (2011). 'Understanding the inter-relationship between Millennium Development Goal Targets: a spatial analysis of pit latrine density and groundwater source contamination.' American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Seattle, US, 12 - 16 Apr 2011.
- Conference presentation: 'Drinking water sources in developing countries - a field based approach to testing' on panel "Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Developing Countries". AWWA ACE 2011.
- Conference presentation: 'Local government systems for water quality management: decentralisation with accountability.' WISA Municipal Water Quality Conference, Cape Town South Africa.
- Conference presentation: Wright, Jim, Yang, Hong, Walker, Kate, Pedley, Steve, Elliott, John and Gundry, Stephen (2011). 'A Systematic Review of the Diagnostic Accuracy of the H2S Test versus Indicator Bacteria Tests for Faecal Contamination of Water.' Singapore International Water Week, Water Convention 2011, 04 - 08 Jul 2011.
- Conference presentation: Wright, James A., Yang, Hong, Pedley, Steve and Gundry, Stephen (2011). 'Evaluation of different strategies for deploying the H2S test to detect microbial contamination of drinking water.' WEDC Conference, Loughborough, UK.
- Conference paper: 'Implementing a mobile data application for water supply management: Lessons from field pilots in Vietnam, Cambodia and Mozambique.' 2011 Water and Health Conference, University of North Carolina.
- Conference workshop: Gundry, Stephen. 'The Future of Low-Cost Water Quality Testing.' Convened by University of Bristol and University of North Carolina-Chapel. Annual Meeting of the International Network on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage. Convened by WHO and The Water Institute at UNC. 03.10.11.
- Conference paper: 'Monitoring scenarios: a tool for characterisation and analysis of drinking water quality monitoring practices in the developing world.' 2011 Water and Health Conference, University of North Carolina.
- Conference presentation: 'E. coli chromogenic reagent selection based on user perception for use in field based water quality tests.' The Fifth international conference on environmental science and technology, Houston, Texas, USA.
- Conference presentations: World Water Week, Stockholm International Water Institute, Sweden.
- Conference presentation: 'Coordination for Clean Water: A Comparison of Institutional Frameworks for Managing Drinking Water Quality.' Water Safety Conference: Managing Drinking water for public health. Kuching, Malaysia.
- Conference presentation: 'Methods and conceptual tools for success in local government information systems.' 4th IDIA Conference, Cape Town, South Africa.
- Conference paper: Brown, Deana, Marsden, Gary, Rivett, Ulrike. 'Water alert!: using mobile phones to improve community perspective on drinking water quality in South Africa.' ICTD '12 Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development Pages 230-240. doi>10.1145/2160673.2160703
- Conference presentation: Rivett U, Loudon M, and Wright JA (2009): 'Introducing the Aquatest Project: increasing the ability to monitor water quality at supply level.' Water Institute of South Africa 2nd Drinking Water Quality Conference, Port Elizabeth, 11-13 May.
- Conference presentation: 'Introducting the Aquatest Project.' OpenROSA Meeting, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
- Conference presentation: 'Low cost water test for developing countries: a progress report.' Global Conference on Microbial Contaminants in Drinking Water, Singapore (American Waterworks Association AWWA and Public Utilities Board (PUB) of Singapore).
- Conference presentation: Loudon, Melissa, Ajmal, Tahmina, Rivett, Ulrike, De Jager, Dirk, Bain, Robert, Matthews, Robert and Gundry, Stephen (2009). 'A 'Human-in-the-Loop' Mobile Image Recognition Application for Rapid Scanning of Water Quality Test Results.' First International Workshop on Expressive Interactions for Sustainability and Empowerment (EISE 2009), London, U.K., 29 - 30 Oct 2009.
- Conference presentation: 'Decentralising Water Quality Monitoring.' IWA 1st Development Congress - water and sanitation services. Mexico City.
- Conference workshop: IWA 1st Development Congress - water and sanitation services. Mexico City.
Further information on the latest developments across the project is available from the Aquatest Newsletters.