SmartPhones4Water, WHY ?

Because Water
is our precious

Welcome To S4W

Many parts of the world lack accurate and accessible water data.  Data, for example, describing rainfall, streams, groundwater, and water quality.  All of these data are essential for caring for our water systems and making wise management decisions. Remote sensing is a valuable source of data but often requires ground-based measurements for bias correction and spatial and temporal disaggregation. Citizen science is a promising method for filling these data gaps. SmartPhones4Water (S4W) uses smartphone technology and a citizen science platform (i.e. community-based monitoring) for monitoring, recording, and disseminating hydro-meteorological data. Advances in smartphone technology, including high-resolution cameras and GPS technology, open up opportunities to make verifiable high-quality scientific observations with photographs and audio recordings.

For water resources, such high-quality and rigorous observations are the cornerstones of sustainable planning as they underpin our understanding of how things like rapid urbanization and climate change will impact our waters.  S4W is eagerly exploring the synergies between our grassroots data collection efforts (i.e. citizen science) and the increasingly rich collection of remotely sensed hydrologic data.  We are glad that you are here reading about S4W.  There are lots of ways to get involved, so stick around and explore for a bit.  We would love to hear from you!

Our Mission

You can’t manage a resource you don’t measure.

We Inspire Young Researchers

To provide real-world, hands-on opportunities to improve the research capacity of young researchers.

We Tell Water Stories

To share compelling and quantitative water narratives of local communities and conditions with stakeholders and decision-makers.

We Mobilize Citizen Scientists

To design, establish and support a global network of citizen scientist led by young researchers.

We Leverage Mobile Technology

To utilize an innovative open-source mobile data collection platform for water monitoring.

We Generate Data

To identify gaps and obtain the data necessary to support wise water management decisions.

Your investment can make a difference

Consider making a tax-deductible donation to S4W (a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit)
via our new S4W CrowdRise page. Your donation will help employ over 500 local citizen
scientists to generate critical water data in the different countries of
Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe.

Our Recent Projects

Our Recent Research


Jeff S4W
President words

S4W – Mobilizing young researchers, citizen scientists, and mobile technology to close water data gaps.

Not many ideas ever make their way beyond the space between our ears.  Thankfully, S4W jumped right out of mine, capturing the imagination of my friend PJ as we navigated the centuries old canals of Delft in the fall of 2013.  Less than two years later, my family and I had the honor of laboring for four lovely years with hundreds of young and enthusiastic Nepali students (and some international ones too) and community members to make this vision a reality.  Together – not without blood, sweat, and tears – we strained to put flesh to S4W’s bones in the burgeoning capital city of Kathmandu, Nepal.  पानी जीवन हो!

While my time now is largely devoted to other matters, I’m honored to be S4W’s self proclaimed number one cheerleader from California.  It has been, and continues to be, a true delight to see other young people – from Vietnam, Ghana, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and beyond – catch S4W’s vision and run.  

If we are to thrive in these coming years, we must improve the way we care for our waters, our arteries of life.  Caring requires understanding.  Understanding requires knowledge.  Knowledge requires data.  

Data of the people, by the people, for the people.
Onward; there is much work to be done.
– Jeff