Currently, many Municipal Drinking Water Companies (PDAMs) are still facing a challenge concerning the lack of accurate and real-time data, for example the data on the status of water pressure within the distribution network. The absence of accurate and real-time data will cause PDAM to be unable to optimize the flow and to reduce water losses, which will affect PDAM service.
Responding to that challenge, and seeing the trends of makers community in producing innovations, USAID IUWASH PLUS through the Local Sustainability and Innovation Component (LSIC) activities has conducted Open Source Hardware (OSH) development by prototyping and piloting the installation of a real-time water-pressure sensor for PDAMs in Bekasi and Bogor cities.
USAID IUWASH PLUS works in collaboration with a maker community, Makedonia Indonesia Raya, to implement the development of the OSH water-pressure sensor prototype. This OSH prototype is expected to provide water pressure data that can indicate whether the distribution networks have sufficient pressure to deliver water to customers, including customers at the furthest point. The prototype will be installed inside the distribution water pipes in PDAM Tirta Patriot in Bekasi city and PDAM Tirta Pakuan in Bogor city.
In August 2017, two kick-off meetings were held with PDAM Tirta Patriot in Bekasi city and PDAM Tirta Pakuan in Bogor city respectively. The meetings marked the commencement of OSH development activities. Both PDAMs enthusiastically welcomed this collaboration. “Because of this collaboration, now I can get experience on how to develop hardware and know how the hardware works,” enthused Achmad Sudrajat, the Head of Non-technical R&D Subsection of PDAM Tirta Patriot.
As part of the collaboration, on August 29, 2017, USAID IUWASH PLUS and Makedonia held a Co-Creation Workshop in Bogor. This workshop was attended by the participants from PDAM Tirta Patriot and PDAM Tirta Pakuan, makers from Makedonia, and USAID IUWASH PLUS. The workshop aimed at collecting ideas from the participants that suitable with the stakeholders needs. During the workshop, the participants learned and discussed the features that should be available in the water-pressure sensor prototype, such as a solar panel to power the sensor.
After the workshop, the makers developed two types of OSH water-pressure sensor prototypes. The first OSH type is powered by electricity provided by State Electricity Company (PLN) and the second OSH type is powered by solar cell. The development of 2 types of prototypes is based on the consideration of power supply availability. The electric prototype is designed to be installed in a pipe located near the electric power supply, while the solar-powered prototype will be installed in a pipe with no power supply nearby.
The electric OSH prototype was developed in October 2017 and installed in PDAM Tirta Patriot and Tirta Pakuan in November 2017. After the installation, this electric OSH has benefitted the PDAMs by providing data on water pressure. The solar-powered OSH was also developed in October 2017 and is still under development. It is scheduled for installation in both PDAMs in early 2018.