Due to limited resources, water infrastructure in developing cities is often faulty and in need of significant repair. In many of these urban centers, public water utilities are unable to regularly monitor water quality necessary for ensuring that the water being distributed is safe to drink and for identifying damaged water sources. This lack of oversight leads to high rates of water-borne and diarrheal disease. In Burkina Faso, prevalence of these illnesses is as high as 20.4% in children under 5; that's 1 in 5.
As well, piped water is unlikely to be extensive in these areas and will often service only those households in city center zones. In regions outside of this network, individuals will commute to sources that are usually within a 5-10 minute walking radius. In many urban areas, the density of these water sources is high enough that individuals can choose from which source they collect their water.
By monitoring each of these sources and by providing this information to water regulatory bodies and to individuals, we can not only highlight water infrastructure in need of repair, but also advise that water only be collected from the cleanest nearby sources.