Well Monitoring

charity: water has a mission:

Help bring clean and safe water to every person on the planet.

As they describe it:

“The water crisis is massive. But together, we can solve it. Private donors cover our operating costs so whether you choose to join us by giving once or through The Spring, our community of monthly givers, know that 100% of your generosity will bring clean water to families around the world.”

There was never any doubt that clean water was needed. However, there was a question of how much of an impact their work was truly having and how they could continue to increase that impact and continue improving lives.

The Issue(s)


As robust as charity: water’s network of wells are, no system is ever perfect. At times, they can degrade in performance or just outright break down. Due to the remote locations and the difficulty reaching them, these issues could go for months or even years before they are fixed, forcing residents to return to their unclean water sources. It is also hard for the generous donors to charity: water to know how their gifts are making a difference. This led to some questions:

  • Is there a way to know sooner that a well isn’t performing like it should?
  • Is there a way to get specific enough data on well usage to let our donors know how they are impacting people in remote locations?
  • How can charity: water know if our wells are being used effectively at a larger scale?
The Solve


charity: water turned to Twisthink, a leading product development company, to develop smart IoT wells which can monitor the flow of water. Twisthink, a long-time partner with SpinDance, turned to us to develop a cloud-based analytics solution to monitor the wells and provide timely notifications of water flow rates and errors.

The implementation included:

  • Hardware in the well, powered by a 10-year battery, collect telemetry data on well usage
  • Data is sent once a week to AWS using the local cellular network
  • Data is aggregated using a custom AWS solution
  • Problems are automatically detected and teams are notified to address problems with specific wells
  • Reports are also generated for the charity: water team to understand the big picture of well usage to help plan future work
The Success


The results reduced maintenance times from years and months to weeks and days, keeping clean water flowing to those who need it most. Donors are also more aware of the impact they are having which helps spur on others to keep giving to the cause.

Major Outcomes:

  • Reduced maintenance times
  • More clean water to the people who need it most
  • Improved donor awareness
  • Meaningful reports to make better decisions with