Akvo Caddisfly

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Capture and understand water quality that matters using a smartphone.

Akvo Caddisfly is a simple, fast, portable and low cost water qualtiy testing system that can be used on-site to quickly analyse the level of a variety of parameters in water in remote areas, using a smartphone. It allows water quality data to be accurately mapped and shared online.

Both its hardware and software are open source. Akvo Caddisfly will set a new standard in effective gathering and sharing at scale of water quality data. Using the best available tool for this purpose – the combination of a smartphone and easy to use and reliable third-party testing methods.

For water quality monitoring to be scaled up to national level, we need to be able to test water quality on the ground in a fast, affordable, and scalable way. Akvo’s low cost, open source, smartphone-based water quality testing system measures 29 water quality parameters for SDG 6 combining four different technologies: colorimetry, sensors, microbiology, and test strips.

Connected to third-party hardware and an online data platform, this system allows you to combine water quality data with GPS data, metadata and qualitative data. This means that you can easily interpret test results, create interactive maps, and generate insights for decision making at regional or national level. Testing can be scaled up affordably with data immediately accessible and shareable via an online dashboard. Test results from various locations will be shared online enabling communities to evolve locally relevant and sustainable systems for improving water quality. Caddisfly aims to help detect major water quality parameters like E. coli, Fluoride, Nitrate, Arsenic, Electrical Conductivity, etc.

Why is Akvo Caddisfly needed?

Globally, over 780 million people do not have access to clean water. In India and elsewhere, fluorosis is a serious health issue and more than 100 million Indians are at risk because they drink water containing fluoride or other contaminants such as arsenic or coliform bacteria. Existing water quality-testing procedures fall short in a number of ways. Field-test equipment is often hard to use and unreliable and lab tests are costly and slow. Resulting data is generally stored locally and not shared effectively. This makes it hard to quickly collect, analyse, present and efficiently use data to resolve water quality issues.

Testing methods

  • Colorimetry: Lovibond MD610 Photometer, CHECKIT comparator, Pooltester
  • Test strips: Quantofix, Hach, Merck
  • Sensors: Lovibond SD70, Lovibond SD50
  • Microbiology: Aquagenx Compartment Bag Test
Benefits of Akvo Caddisfly
  • Cost effective
  • Fast: Receive results instantly on your smartphone and translate them into real-time decision making dashboards. Give water quality feedback directly to communities.
  • Accurate and reliable
  • Small and easy to handle
  • Extensive: Test over 29 parameters for a range of purposes. Choose from colorimetry, sensors, microbiology, and test strips. Add context to your data by combining it with other types of data
  • Lets you map your findings and monitor them over time using Akvo FLOW
  • Accurate: Choose your required accuracy based on your needs. For example, use a portable photometer for high accuracy measurements. Conduct data validation checks to monitor accuracy on the go.
  • Scalable: Run the system on any number of devices and support the submission of thousands of forms. Share your results instantly, even during data collection, and keep an overview on your online dashboard.


Partnerships Akvo Foundation
Hans Merton (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
hans(at)akvo.org +31 6 19 82 10 96 www.akvo.org

Mert Blommestijn (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
mert(at)akvo.org www.akvo.org

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