Remote monitoring systems are an innovative and emerging method to ensure the success of appropriate technology projects. Remote monitoring systems that use cellular technology to monitor water treatment systems in villages are not an inappropriate use of high technology for a developing community. They are instead a reflection of the decentralized nature of these countries, and a response to the prevalence and adoption of cellular phone networks to communicate and address needs. These systems ensure proper use and maintenance of technologies that would otherwise run the risk of falling into disrepair.
Manna has designed and implemented our own remote monitoring technology for water treatment. This system monitors parameters such as pressure, flowrate, water quality, valve position, and disinfection unit performance, and controls the treatment process to ensure reliable delivery of clean water. The system sends data over the cellular network, including alarm conditions alerting staff that technicians must be deployed to maintain the system. Remote access allows monitoring and control of the systems from anywhere in the world. This approach ensures that the system performance is maintained.
Meanwhile, local engagement is encouraged and developed through demonstrating attention and commitment to project success. Rather than infrequent engagement, remote monitoring systems ensure that community partnerships are maintained.
An example remote monitoring system taking data from flowmeters, ultraviolet lamps, pressure transducers and transmitting data to a central computer via the cellular phone network.