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African Utility Week Water Hackathon

Monday, May 21, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (CAT)

African Utility Week Water Hackathon

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All Sold Out Ended Free  

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Event Details

Lack of safe water and adequate sanitation is the world’s single largest cause of illness, responsible for two million deaths a year.  That’s four people every minute – most of them children. 

House4Hack is helping Africa Utility Week ( to organize a 1 day water hackathon on Monday 21 May 2012.

Why you should attend

You are a social entrepreneur, innovator, open source developer,  data scientist, designer (graphical, gui, industrial etc), open hardware enthusiast, project manager or all of the above.

You would like to make a difference.

You want to meet like-minded people and have fun.


There are some really high impact challenges and here is a taste

Map the poison - This should be a web based application that will be used to map spots along a wetland system where poorly treated and potentially poisonous effluent is being discharged into the system.The program should be able to specify which kind of components of the toxic effluent are being discharged where.  The problem is that in Africa, Leather tanning and other industries are still thriving while releasing poorly treated effluent directly into our wetland systems. The reason they go undetected is lacking a GPS system that will track these activities so that the culprits are apprehended and corrected. This would go far in solving this issue.

Power surge prompt - A system that alerts plant operator on duty through their mobile phone whenever there is low, high or fluctuating voltage that could cause damage to pumps, motors etc in the plant. Report to technical manager or supervisor daily indicating time, nature of occurence and action taken as well time of normalisation of system.

Water usage map –  In order to help managers understand water use patterns and how they vary geographically, a mapping application (e.g. Google Earth app) could link water meter data with meter GPS co-ordinates.  Such maps could inform decisions around planning and investment for areas with low consumption or connection density (often poorer neighbourhoods and marginalised communities).  The ability to include additional demographic data would allow for richer analysis (  for a taste of this type of visualisation.  Overall, the ability to visualise this data on an interactive map would assist managers in their decision-making around demand management and distribution losses. They could even single out households with suspiciously high or low water usage (helping to fight leakage and corruption).


Expo Center in Johannesburg (


08h00  Registration and breakfast
09h30  Schedule and logistics announcements
10h00  Subject matter expert briefing
10h30  Begin coding
13h00  Lunch
13h30  Coding continued
14h30  Optional progress briefing, coding continued
18h00  Coding ends  / Presenting solutions
19h00 Dinner / Judging / Prize giving
20h00  End (to be continued at RHoK on 2 – 3 June 2012)
Have questions about African Utility Week Water Hackathon? Contact the organizer

When & Where

Expo Center
Cnr Rand Show and Nasrec roads
Johannesburg, Gauteng 2000
South Africa

Monday, May 21, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (CAT)

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