A smart device designed and created by three Omani students has gained attention for its ability to monitor and minimise wastage of water in households.
Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Shamis al Azri, Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Hamad al Senani and Shabib bin Mohammed bin Khalfan al Busaidi – all graduates of Middle East College – came up with the idea of a smart device as they were concerned about water wastage.
“The project arose from a real life situation which many of us encounter. A large section of the society suffers from huge consumption of water, which may not be due to actual usage, but because of some internal leakage problems or other external conditions,” Azri told Muscat Daily.
The project, declared one of three winning projects of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation’s Upgrade Programme recently, “specialises in monitoring the inflow of water to a house and analysing if the consumption is natural or otherwise in order to achieve the required goal, which is to prevent water wastage and losses”, Azri said.
The Upgrade Programme transforms the best graduation projects into successful ICT startups by employing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.
“The project, called the Smart Device, is currently being redesigned in accordance to new regulations,” the young graduate said.
“The device monitors several segments of the water pipeline inside homes to detect the actual consumption and wastage and thereby helps, especially those who do not know their consumption but end up paying for wasted water.”
Talking about the challenges that they faced while giving shape to their project, Azri said, “COVID-19 was the toughest challenge for this project due to closure of ports and restrictions on movement. Restrictions made it difficult for us to move around, not to mention about the problems that we faced in procuring materials from outside Oman for the experiments. It caused a lot of delays in the arrival of material and parts, but with motivation and team spirit, we overcame those difficulties,” he added.
“We completed the project despite following all the precautionary measures and decisions of the Supreme Committee with regard to the pandemic,” Azri said.
While talking about the importance of water conservation around the world, Azri said consumers in many countries pay huge bills a portion of which is also for wasted water.
“This is a loss not only for the consumers who pay extra bills, but also for the countries which need to meet the high demand triggered by wastage.
“Keeping in mind the shortage of water and the high cost of desalination of sea water, implementation of this project can reduce losses,” Azri said.
The main supporters of the project, Azri informed, include Omantel, the Research Council and SAS Center. The development of the project will initially be for small homes working with one sensor.
“It will later be upgraded with several sensors in the same control device according to a consumer’s needs.”
With several sensors in use, the device can be controlled through a remote control and installed in large buildings, Azri said, adding that with more upgradation, the same device can be used to minimise wastage of water in a large network.