In Kenya, it is rather difficult – and very expensive – for families to obtain quality drinking water. In Nairobi, the water bill accounts for over 11% of average household income and yet families who have had their tap water cut off two or three times may nevertheless not see any reduction at all in their monthly bill. In order to remedy this state of affairs, which affects close to three million people in the Kenyan capital alone, Brian Bosire and Victor Shikoli came up with the idea of developing HydroIQ. This is a smart GPS-based metering device that connects via an Internet network to the water distribution grid so as to monitor and control the water consumption of individual households. This in turn enables them to cut down on water wastage, optimise their water bill and ensure that the water they are getting is of good quality.
The HydroIQ online data aggregation platform is designed to provide the necessary links between the distributor, the water consumer and the public authorities so as to help optimise urban potable water systems. Given that, according to the United Nations Organisation, two thirds of the world’s population are likely to be living in water-stressed conditions by the year 2025, this is a highly laudable goal. The HydroIQ solution also provides an online pay-as-you-go option, based on verified actual consumption, thus doing away with the need for expensive – and relatively inefficient – electric meters. The company founders have stated their claim that this all-in-one system is basically the world’s first Virtual Water Network Operator. At the very least, their venture has already achieved a measure of success: HydroIQ carried off the 2018 ‘Grand Prix’ award conferred by Start-up Africa.
By Théo Roux