Making water quality data easier to understand
If water data is accessible to all in simple visual forms, will it change the way we think and get more number of people to appreciate issues such as Water contamination. Vrunda Bansode, one of the four winners of the first round of the Safe water crusade, wishes to work on this seed of an idea and bring a huge impact on these problems.
Vrunda heads the ‘India Data Insights’ team at Sattva media and consultancy. Vrunda and her team at Data Insights are trying to bring a big change in the way social problems are being dealt with today. The Safe water crusade helps them to focus on Water issues of concern to rural India.
The ‘Safe Water Crusade’ Fellowship program is initiated to motivate India’s brightest and committed individuals across colleges, universities, NGOs, research organisations, consultants and practitioners with a shared purpose to build a people’s movement on safe water access and good health for all. This fellowship awards 4 people with 1 lakh INR each to test their ideas and solve real issues in the drinking water sector.
This fellowship is an action based program where the fellows get exposed to the diverse set of actors who are working on this shared purpose and support the fellows to realise their ideas. These fellowships are being supported by the European Union (EU), through the work of the two water quality networks i.e. INREM Foundation (Fluoride) and SaciWATERs (Arsenic).
According to Vrunda’s analysis, Arsenic & Fluoride contamination remain contextualized and largely rural problems. She surmises that policy makers and other stakeholders lack a strong understanding of the real scale and severity of the issue. Vrunda says “breaking down complex data into simple visualizations by integrating and analysing publicly available data to help improve decision making across stakeholders” is necessary and forms the core of her idea under the Safe water crusade fellowship.
The Data Insights team’s plan is to look at these problems differently and facilitate the visualization of these problems helping to engage and influence stakeholders towards longer term systemic change. They plan to build an interactive dashboard that can be updated real-time (where the data is updated at the point of publishing and not collection), in a pre-decided manner. This aims to help practitioners in the drinking water field make sharper data-driven decisions, by designing user-friendly interfaces.
As the reach widens, the number of people concerned about Safe drinking water issues expands, making a larger body of people excited and energised about these problems.