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Revolutionary app reveals the resource underground

Farmers using the MyWell app in India

An app that enables the crowdsourcing and verification of groundwater-related data is revolutionising Indian village communities’ relationships with the dwindling resource hidden beneath their feet.

A network of volunteers on the MARVI project (Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater Use through Village-level Intervention) is using the newly scaled-up MyWell app to collect and analyse data such as depth-to-groundwater, rainfall amounts, check-dam water levels and water-quality parameters.

Created for the project but with wider applicability, MyWell displays the current data alongside historical data at village and regional scales for simple comparison, analysis and decision-making.

“Public participation will be key for managing groundwater in the future,” said Project Leader Professor Basant Maheshwari from Western Sydney University. “MyWell helps to engage farmers, schools and local communities in monitoring groundwater and other water parameters, as well as provide local data to inform sustainable groundwater use. This empowers farmers to self-manage groundwater sustainably at the village and municipal council levels.”

The scaled-up version of the app has enhanced location, data visualisation and verification capability, adding to the quality assurance of the readings.

Although developed for the MARVI project, the MyWell app can be used by anyone to monitor groundwater levels and other parameters at any location. It has been taken up by students in Laos and Pakistan, as well as beyond the project in India.

The MARVI project has been running since 2012 and is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research. The MyWell app is available on the Google Play store, with an iPhone version available soon.