This article is adapted from the original.
By Megan Vick
Similar to Howard Wolowitz from TV’s The Big Bang Theory, former NASA employee and environmental
engineer, John Feighery, designed the bathroom for the International Space Station. Feighery and his team needed to focus on efficiency, waste management, and air and water quality to have a successful system aboard the ISS.
In 2003, Feighery changed his focus to helping the global water crisis. When he spoke to AlertNet, he said, “I’d been working on supplying clean water to three or four people in space, and meanwhile there are a billion here on Earth that don’t have it.” This profound change in thought led him to work in Bangladesh with a group from the US Health and Human Services Department testing well water. While he was there, he lugged around heavy equipment and had to take notes and chart locations by hand. Because of his other physically taxing duties, Feighery decided this process could be, and should be, easier.
Feighery developed mWater. mWater is an Android app which records vital information about any given water source. This amazing app allows a user to input the results of water quality tests and map them. Users can also notate the appearance of the water, scent, flow, and other defining features. Photographs can even be uploaded to give more information.
mWater is an accessible and functional tool to help people affected by the growing global water crisis. Feighery will be working with UN Habitat and Rwanda’s ministry of health in the future to teach employees to use the app. These employees will be able to continue to monitor water sources and possibly even prevent an outbreak of waterborne illness from reaching the human population.
The app is available for Android devices at the Google Play Store.