The new website Akvopedia shares knowledge of water and sanitation technology, open source style, to ensure these resources are available to more people worldwide.
Open Source: (in computing) Of, or relating to a product which is licensed to permit modifications and redistribution [for free] of its source code.
Linux, the One Laptop Per Child (XO laptop) project, the Mozilla web browser, Creative Commons, Peer-to-Peer networks, Open Office, and Wikipedia are multi-faceted examples of open-source technology. The open-source realm relies on a philosophy of sorts – so that freedom and sharing of a specific (or any) knowledge will allow for that specific, underlying body of knowledge to be improved upon in infinite ways.
Wikipedia, one famous example of interactive knowledge sharing, has a striking factual accuracy compared to that of Encyclopedia Britannica. Now the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) strives to create a similar clearinghouse for water and sanitation technology through the recent unveiling of Akvopedia.
Akvo = means water in Esperanto (
theoreticaluniversal language developed in the late 1800’s)
Thomas Bjelkeman, founder of Akvo. Photo courtesy Akvo on flickr.
Akvopedia features portals to discuss, share, update, and refine knowledge about:
sanitation, pumping and transportation, storage, treatment, and use of water
toilets, collection, transportation, treatment, and use of products
NGOs, governmental organizations, research organizations, funding organizations, and commercial companies
project management, individual and collective, and supporting approaches
The website has reviews and specifications for building water and sanitation infrastructure from:
- a tippy-tap hand-washing device,
- to completing well construction with bamboo screens,
- to specifications and directions for building an aqua privy,
- to a new drip irrigation system called the Nica Drip system.
And the website provides a virtual setting for NGOs or others with water or sanitation project ideas to find funding. In short, Akvopedia provides access to open-source water and sanitation technology. This website will empower communities and promote localized development of water systems throughout the world by providing the knowledge, funding, and resources necessary.
Thank you Akvopedia!
With your support, Akvo can speed up the pace of water and sanitation development in some of the poorest parts of the world. Small Non-Governmental Organisations can act themselves. They can use new tools, share knowledge, specify projects, find funds and make things happen. They can be heroes. Akvo is creating an open resource, forging relationships with everyone around the world who shares this vision. We’d love to have you involved.