The Quench System

The Modi Research Group in conjunction with the Columbia Global Centres Africa created the Quench system—a smart water dispensing machine that simplifies the management of water distribution in Africa.

The Modi Group strives to meet this goal using Quench technology. One of the Millennium Development Goals seeks to halve the number of people without consistent access to safe drinking water by 2015. They are expected to supply potable water to those without access to Columbia University’s first African research and training hub in Nairobi, Kenya. Quench monitors consumption to conserve this priceless commodity while ensuring all residents are given an adequate supply.

Quench is an automated kiosk which monitors supply and demand. The machine dispenses water upon insertion of a user’s smart card.

Each family is allocated a basic level at no cost, however, they have the option of paying for extra. Payment options include: pre-pay, cash at time of purchase, or post-pay to purchase more water. In turn, the tamper-proof kiosk records each transaction and monitors consumption from a server providing accurate daily water usage data. Operators use this data to allocate daily water amounts to families and ensure equitable distribution of water based on seasonal availability.

Diagram: How the Quench System Works: Credit, Dispense, Monitor