According to a disaster and climate risk assessment were undertaken by the World Bank, water availability will remain stable in only 20% of the country over the coming decades. ‐ World‐Bank (2013)
The water company’s capacity is 210 million gallons a day compared with the 540 million gallons needed by Lagosians. It’s potable piped water reaches about 7 million people. That leaves two‐thirds of the city struggling to find safe water. ‐ Bloomberg (2015)
The scarcity of water can be generally assumed to be Nigeria’s big water problem but there is Lack of data to back up this assertion. We have visited some water resource points, response from the operators include;
- There is reduction in water Level annually relative to the two broad weather distinction [i.e. the dry and wet season and regions separated by weather classification that includes warm desert climate (BWh), warm semi‐arid climate (BSh), monsoon climate (Am) and tropical savannah climate (Aw)]
- Despite the reduction in water Level in the dry season, the water volume in the dam is sufficient all year round when matched with demand but the problem is they have not had the power to pump and treat water to over six hundred thousand people for two years. The operators all stated that addressing the power crisis will solve the problem of clean water access.
- There is the provision of a generator as the alternative to the public power supply that has been cut off but they have also not had diesel supply to power the generator in those two years. And this may be due to conflicts around jurisdiction between the state and federal government and possibly a case of corruption and funds being diverted to other issues.
The operators further made it known to our team that Nigeria’s over 70 public water resource points operate in isolation, totally Lack a data exchange system that can help them manage water distribution and scarcity. The acknowledged the follow;
- Data not electronically gathered in most of the water resource points
- No digital monitoring of the water Level in most of the resource points
- No framework for data exchanges in most of the water resource points
- Water distribution to the public not tracked
To address the data gap we designed waterdatang project to open up Nigeria’s water sector through data visualisation. Analysed in the infographics below;
Project impacts include;
- Real‐time electronic data gathering and sharing system by creating a network for all the dam operators in the Long run
- Citizens able to monitor or track water distribution, consumption and potential threats to clean water sources
- Citizens able to innovate around the open access datasets to help improve clean water access over time
- Citizens able to monitor government expenditure, fundamental to ensuring transparency with taxpayers money
- Citizens and regulators able to collaborate to expand alternatives and ensure equal access and well managed national water resources.