Mobile Water App

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This wiki will serve to coordinate the project of building a Mobile iOS application to assist humanitarian missionaries (and eventually users from other humanitarian organizations) in collecting data about the status of Church-sponsored water wells and other water projects throughout the world.


Since 2002, the Church's welfare department has helped in the development of thousands of water wells and other water systems in developing nations around the world. Our humanitarian projects are done regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or how much credit we will receive as a church. Our clean water projects have blessed over 7 million people and millions more in generations to come.

Use case

There have been four main challenges to our current approach of evaluating water projects. First, these water projects are always located in undeveloped areas without addresses. Second, senior missionaries performing the evaluations have used paper and pen to capture the data which has resulted in inconsistent data. Third, missionaries have struggled in returning the evaluations. Fourth, inefficiencies are high because evaluations are entered twice.

Product vision

Phase 1

The Humanitarian Services Division desires to develop an iOS application (primarily designed to run on iPhones) that humanitarian missionaries can use to answer a scripted survey while they are on-site at the water projects being evaluated. The iPhone will capture exact GPS coordinates of the project, solving the challenge of describing the location of each project. The app will provide a survey that the user will fill out while on site to capture data about the project - which will provide more accurate and consistent data that will be more useful to Church HQ in planning future projects. A MySQL DB will be developed to store the data collected by the users of the App. Develop some default reports from this database that can be run by Welfare and Presiding Bishopric Office (PBO) employees.

Phase 2

Port the app to iPad and Android, and share it (for free) through the iOS and Android app stores. Allow it to be used by all humanitarian orgs to capture data about their water projects (church or non-church sponsored). They will be in charge of having it link with their own database hosted on their servers. This website will be used by future missionaries, area office representatives, other humanitarian organizations, and by users in the Welfare Department and PBO.

Project sponsors

  • Matt Heaps, Welfare Dept. (business owner)
  • Scott Keate, Welfare Dept.
  • Chad Fullmer, ICS Dept.

General requirements

  • Designed for iPhone, but should run on all iOS devices
  • Designed for elderly, non-technical users (larger fonts, very simple UI, etc)
  • Built to cache data on device so features can be used with no cell service
  • Utilizes the built-in GPS antenna of the device
  • Ability to take pictures and input data for multiple locations
  • Must store data so that it can upload the data to Church Humanitarian database (likely MySQL DB)
  • A "Next" button will progress users from page-to-page. When pressed the data is automatically saved.
  • If in cell or wi-fi range the App could upload data to a central database

Specific requirements

App menu

Mobile Water 1.png Mobile Water 2.jpg Mobile Water 3.png Mobile Water 4.png

First page shows all evaluations and gives users the options to create new evaluation by tapping on the plus icon, or uploading their existing evaluations or being able to edit existing evaluations.

Each existing evaluation will show the project number, village name, initial evaluation date, and if the evaluation was uploaded or not. When an evaluation is clicked, the app should open the evaluation for viewing/editing & allow the user to save changes. The standard delete feature built into iOS should also be available.

When creating a new evaluation the following information will be collected.

Project Detail & Photos (each bullet point represents a new page)

  • User can type the "Project Number" (which they will have been given by CHQ) in a blank field (Have the app remember names and numbers that are entered) Person performing the evaluation will enter their name into first name an last name fields. They will also enter the village name on this page. At the end of page 1, users will be able to press the next arrow which will allow them to save and continue the evaluation (separate these buttons into the two bottom corners of the page, save & continue at bottom right, perhaps w/ an arrow to the right suggesting that it will save & take you to the next step)
  • Record GPS Coordinates (the coordinates should automatically show in a Latitude and Longitude field as obtained by the iOS device). * Take Picture(s) of system using the iPhone or browse device drive to upload photos to the project. Maximum # of photos allowed per evaluation is 12. Max file size per photo should be X.
  • The date for the evaluation should be automatically input into a field (based on the iOS date) - user can change it if they want to

Evaluation Questions (each bullet point represents a new page)

Section 1: System

  • Is system still working? (pop up menu w/ 3 choices: Yes, Partially, No)
  • Is the system in good working condition? (pop up menu w/ 2 choices: Yes, No)
  • Is the area around the water source clean? (pop up menu w/ 2 choices: Yes, No)
  • Is the area around the water source fenced? (pop up menu w/ 2 choices: Yes, No)

Section 2: Water Committee

  • Is there a water committee? (pop up menu w/ 2 choices: Yes, No)
  • Does the Water Committee have meetings? (pop up menu w/ 2 choices: Yes, No)
  • Do they have funds saved for repairs? (pop up menu w/ 2 choices: Yes, No)

Section 3: Health

  • Are people reporting greater health as a result of water system? (pop up menu w/ 2 choices: Yes, No)
  • Are people reporting greater heatlh as a result of hygiene training? (pop up menu w/ 2 choices: Yes, No)
  • Is the sanitation facility still working? (pop up menu w/ 3 choices: Yes, No, Not Applicable)
  • Result of water test. E. coli measurement (pop up menu w/ 5 choices: Low <1/10 ml, Moderate 1-10/10 ml, High 1-10/ml, Very High >10/ml, Not Applicable)

Section 4: Recorded Notes

  • A voice recording option will appear if the user wants to record information not included in the evaluation. The recording will be low quality. Training will occur with users to keep these recordings brief (1-2 minutes).

At the end of this page the user will be able to click "Finish" or "Upload Now"

Overview of the Church's Clean Water Initiative

Access to clean water removes one of the largest road blocks to a more self reliant life. Our projects dramatically improve health and provides more time to families for productive activities such as income earning, going to school, completing studies, and allowing parents to have greater interaction with their children while at home. One mother in DR Congo said, "You realize that I am liberated from the servitude that I was tied to by water? I am finished going long distances of 2 kilometers. Today the water is within 500 meters of my place, truly this is a blessing from on high, for me and my whole family." A man from Zimbabwe simply said, "Water is life. We thank the Latter-day Saints for bringing us water." A woman from Sierra Leone said, "Somebody who brought clean water to our village, we take that person as the savior, because you are saving many lives."


A little under a billion people in the world today don't have access to a clean water source. Our projects focus on countries that have an average life expectancy of 42 years old, and one of the main culprits for a parents premature death is unclean water. These families walk an average of 2 miles every day to get their water, often times making two trips a day.

On January 10th, 2011 the Salt Lake Tribune wrote an article about our water projects in Uganda. The article paints a picture of what the Church is doing around the world in an average of 30 nations at any one given time.

THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: Masaka, Uganda • The water was perfectly clear. But it wasn’t always that way. Months ago, children dipped their jugs into something startlingly different in a tropical ravine near this southern Uganda town. Something murky. Something polluted. Times have changed — all because of a senior missionary couple from Taylorsville. Hiking down a steep trail through African palms, Lincoln and Marilyn Barlow can make out three clotheslines hanging heavily in the gully. Shirts and dresses of all colors and varieties drip-dry while women prepare the next batch of laundry in buckets nearby. Marilyn pauses to snap a photo. She’s smiling. For the past five months, the Barlows have been working with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to provide cleaner water and better sanitation for southern Uganda. Their work hasn’t been the “touchy-feely” sort, Marilyn muses. Rather, it has been practical and potentially life-changing for an African nation where people still draw water for washing, bathing and drinking from ponds so filthy that children sometimes have to clear the surface before filling their jugs. Within the tropical forests of southern Uganda, where mud-brick villages rise from the red dirt, the Barlows have completed an expansive clean-water project funded by the Utah-based LDS Church. They have created 60 clear-water springs. They have built 16 school latrines. They have established 10 handwashing stations. And they have installed 15 rainwater-collection tanks capable of storing up 10,000 liters of water. That’s not counting the hygiene and sanitation classes they conduct for schools and community groups or the 25 latrines for needy families they put into a village known as Katoogo.

The fruits of those labors are no more evident than in that lush gully outside of Masaka, where clotheslines sag under the weight of a community’s garb. The three lines — modern for villages that previously draped their laundry over bushes — are filled. Nearby, fresh water pours from a piped spring. “This is my touchy-feely,” Marilyn says after descending a rugged trail to find the washing area occupied by dozens of women and children at work. The community washing area — a concrete basin with laundry lines and clean water nearby — had been her idea. From the soapy tubs of clothes speckling the concrete and the continual flow of children replenishing water buckets for their mothers, it had been a popular one. Although the Barlows carry Mormon missionary badges, they aren’t looking for conversions. Instead, the couple have a decidedly humanitarian purpose — one that brought tears to Lincoln’s eyes on a drizzly afternoon as he paused beside an algae-rimmed pond where children squatted on a pair of rain-slick logs and dipped their five-gallon jugs for drinking water. The children then plugged their jugs with green bananas and hauled them up the hill. “ ‘You saw me hungry and you gave me meat. You saw me thirsty and you gave me water,’ ” Lincoln Barlow said, his voice breaking with emotion as he cited the New Testament passage. “That’s what we do.” The imprint of the Barlows’ work — estimated at $250,000, paid by the LDS Church — is seen across southern Uganda:

  • Their hands have touched the St. Bruno Ssaza Primary School in Masaka, where children no longer spend part of their school day trekking water from a spring two kilometers away. The school now has a rainwatercollect on system. “We have changed pupils’ lives in this school,” says former student Eddie Mutebi, who is carrying out the church’s water projects as executive director of the Union of Community Development Volunteers.
  • Their hands have touched a polluted spring in a nearby rural gulch, where villagers now fill their five gallon jugs from a spigot so clean that people have started selling the water in town for double the normal price — about 9 cents a bucket. “Now that it is here, the villages around here don’t want to go anywhere else,” says Ssimbwa Kakinda, a Mormon and chief of the local Kobe clan who has been monitoring the project. “As these get built, the demand doubles and triples. You see lines — long, long lines.”
  • Their hands have touched the St. John Paul Mugwanya School, where a new latrine with six stalls stands in a grove with a wash basin nearby. It replaces a crumbling brick latrine that had nearly reached capacity. “Our children could have easily been contaminated by nearby water and food,” School Director Paul Mugwanya says. “With this new latrine, we are able to keep our children free of any disease or harm that might come to them. … We are still bad off, but we are so thankful.”

Those projects are just pieces of the LDS Church’s hulking humanitarian effort in Uganda, where three to four water initiatives — each costing hundreds of thousands of dollars — are done every year. And yet, Lincoln Barlow can’t help but wonder if his work is making a dent in an African nation so smitten by poverty that most people do without running water, sewer and electricity. Many live in mud shanties or thatched-roof huts. But the problems go deeper than that. Thousands continue to die every year from malaria, typhoid fever, AIDS, dysentery, tuberculosis and whooping cough. And countless others are recovering from the emotional trauma of civil war and ethnic strife that have resulted in murders, rapes and the forced enlistment of children as soldiers and sex slaves in rebel armies. Bouncing through southern Uganda’s backcountry in an SUV toward one of the church’s springs, Lincoln Barlow relates a story of a man who walks along a beach throwing starfish, one by one, back into the water. He cannot possibly save them all. But he can save a few. That’s how Barlow sees his work. “We are doing the best we can,” he says. It’s a mission of the heart that the Barlows hope will spread clean water and living water to a nation thirsty for both.

Our water projects are making a great impact but we also feel a need to be constantly improving so millions more can be blessed by the generous donations of our members. The proposed evaluation tool will be one of the major factors to generate improvement and shape the Clean Water Initiative in the future. Please join us in this incredible work of blessing Heavenly Father's children.

This page was last modified on 30 March 2012, at 15:59.

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