The First water Hackathon held at the American University in Cairo took place to brainstorm new solutions for water challenges.
The event was organized in a competitive way where 13 expert water and technology teams were asked to create an ICT solution to solve one of the nine major water problems
The aim was for the teams to identify the severe water challenges to deal with flooding, drought, irrigation, sanitation, and water shed management.
Studies have shown that by 2017 Egypt’s water supply will need to increase dramatically due to population growth and the reduced flow of the River Nile that is caused by an increase in evaporation.
There are talks that people from the IT sector could get involved as the iPhone now has an application that allows to measure water purity.
Carlo Rossotto the regional co-ordinator for the MENA in the GICT Policy Division sector of the World Bank said they were trying to develop innovative ways to bring local communities on board with local issues. There are some development issues in the environmental sector, the health sector and educational sector in Egypt. This event brought together water experts together with software developers from the ITC sector in hoping to improve society with technology.
Another problem proposed by the organizers asked for an IT tool that would contribute to a more equitable water distribution in Egypt, especially in areas where the water goes on and off, while a second problem required a tracking tool for a community sewage disposal system in Egypt, for underprivileged neighborhoods with no sewage system.
After two days of brainstorming, the different teams presented on Saturday afternoon their projects in front of a panel of judges.
The winning team’s idea entailed establishing a water distribution project that brings together the Ministry of Agriculture, the farmers, and the telecommunications sector.
“I am neither a software programmer nor a water specialist, I came here by chance and I saw this event,” said Nagham Osman, a member of the winning team.
“My being here shows that anybody can participate in finding a partial solution to the global water problem,” Osman concluded.
A parallel Water Hackathon event was organized simultaneously in Bangalore, Kampala, London, Nairobi and Washington D.C.