According to a 2016 news report, a single Malaysian wastes up to 50,000 liters of water every year. This exceeds the water usage recorded in countries like the United States and Australia in the same year.
The daily water requirement per person set by the United Nations (UN) is 165 liters, but Malaysians use up to 300 liters every day. This means that the amount of water wasted by a single Malaysian is enough to meet another person's daily needs.
Even though all of us are alert to water wastage we are still wasting a lot of water without realizing for our daily use. To those who are suffering without the access of water, knows the importance and difficulties of getting clean and safe water. Once there is a limit of water supply, we will always be alert with the water usage if the system will automatically cuts off when the limit is reached. At the same time, we also need to know the quality of water that we are consuming whether is it always safe or not. All these can be done by NiR.
How does the design work?
NiR is a water quality monitoring and water usage limiting device which will be installed at the main water supply pipeline of each household or in waterway area to monitor the water quality. NiR has three main parts which monitor quality of water, limits the water usage and power management.
For the Water Quality Monitoring part, the quality of water will be tested using pH, temperature and turbidity sensors. This is to make sure the water is safe to be consumed. All sensors data will also transmitted using IoT technology and displayed in mobile apps so that the user can monitor the quality of water that they are consuming. While for the Water Usage Limiting part, the limit of water supply for each household will be set in NiR based on the number of people in the house. The water usage data will be transmitted using IoT technology where the users can keep track on the amount used and the available balance for the day with their mobile apps. Once it reaches the per day limit, NiR automatically cuts off the water supply. There will be an emergency button at NiR for the user who needs water for an emergency situation when per day limit has been reached. The amount of water supplied during the emergency will be also limited for a month.
For Power Management, NiR is a self-powered device. It has a water turbine generator which will generate power when the water is flowing. It also has a lead-acid battery as a backup power to power up the system when there is no/slow water flow and recharges the battery when the water flow can generate enough power.
What makes it innovative?
So far, there is no such device as NiR available in the market, therefore NiR is a new innovation to reduce water wastage and save water for the future. NiR is a solution to all countries as a stepping stone to prevent water wastage and create awareness to their citizens about the quality of water that they consume. NiR is also self-powered by water flow device as there is no power supply needed to power up the device.
How would it be produced?
Most of the parts such as sensors that are used to produce NiR are already available in the market. The control board circuit will be designed in PCB layout where it can be fabricated for mass production. NiR’s body will be 3D printed for prototype/concept and while for mass production it can be plastic molded. Therefore NiR is a possible concept to be implemented and can be produced in an affordable price.
What its potential impact would be around the globe?
With NiR, all countries around the globe will start minimizing the usage of water which will eventually lead to zero water wastage. The water can be save for the future. Besides, only clean and safe water will be consumed as all of us can always be alert with the quality of water from our mobile apps. So this innovation will be a step closer to give healthier water to everyone.