Rural Makers
Anceu 2021

Using technology to develop simple solutions in rural communities - in collaboration with MakersXchange

Promote rural innovation

To help solve rural problems using new technologies and innovation design.

Develop communities

To face rural problems: emigration of young generations, rural exodus, digital divide.

Create open source solutions

To share solutions with other rural communities who can then implement them.


The problem: Water consumption in small villages

In Anceu (Galicia), there is no easy way to detect if there is a leak or excessive water usage. Someone has to check each counter manually. If a leak happens, weeks can happen before it is detected, and this can lead to water shortage in the summer.

Technological solution: measuring water usage in real time to detect anomalies

With rapid prototyping technologies (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc.) we are developing a solution to frequently send water measurement for each counter, in real time, to a cloud server. This will lead to a web page where water consumption can be checked, and leaks can be found in hours/days, not weeks/months.


Final result - Proof of Concept

Dashboard to monitor water usage

With this dashboard we can monitor water usage for each counter, over time. This makes it easy to detect any anomaly, for example when there is a spike in the plot. This spike will also trigger a notification for us to know when we need to take some action.


Real time monitoring

Every time a photo is taken, it is sent to the cloud server. Once in the cloud, we can check each photo and verify that the water measurement is correct. Once validated, the data will be displayed in the global dashboard.

Hardware prototype 1

For this prototype we use an ESP32Cam board, which is an Arduino-like device with integrated camera and Wi-Fi. The ESP32Cam will be plugged on top of a water counter. Every day it will wake up, take a picture, and send it to the cloud server.


Hardware prototype 2

For this prototype we use a Raspberry Pi Zero W board, with the Raspberry Pi Camera v1.3. This solution is similar to the first one, but with better image quality.

Hardware prototype 3

For this prototype we use an ESP32 board (Arduino-like device with integrated Wi-Fi) and a water flow counter. The ESP32 will frequently measure water flow and send it to the cloud server, which will then be able to computer water consumption.


Documentation and future work

On top of the cloud server, web dashboard, and hardware prototypes, we have created a GitHub repository with all the code files, documentation, and future improvements for the project.

GitHub link.

In collaboration with