Pupil designs water-saving app

Collaboration with software company brings school project into real world

Shower. File picture
Shower. File picture
Image: Pixabay.com

As a budding doctor with ambitions to save lives in the future, a Makhanda-based grade 12 pupil is already well on her way to becoming a philanthropist after recently designing an app to help people keep their heads above the water crisis.

As her year work task for design, Diocesan School for Girls pupil Caydn Barker,18, conceptualised an app which tracks one’s personal daily water-related activities with the purpose of monitoring and reducing usage.

And the idea of the app, which is called Revive, not only impressed her school, friends and family, but also Johannesburg IT company MIP Holdings, which assisted Caydn to create the app and developed it as part of its social responsibility investment.

The free app is now available in app stores. Speaking from Makhanda (Grahamstown) this week, Caydn said while the fact that the app had become a reality had not properly sunk in yet, she did feel very excited about how everything had turned out.

“The app is consumerfriendly, effective and a practical aid towards reducing personal water usage, which in turn will help with the water crisis.

“We encourage everyone to download it as soon as possible, as the Eastern Cape is still in a water crisis and it is imperative for each one of us to save as much water as possible.”

Caydn explained that the app was cellphone-based and did not require a connection to the internet to function.

Caydn Barker
Caydn Barker

“You then use the app to record your daily water-related activities and usage. The app provides water consumption averages to serve as a base to monitor consumption.

“For example, there is a consumption average based on the time you spent in the shower, whether you captured any water in the shower, with, for example, the use of a bucket, which you could then reuse, and so on.

“The app is designed to make people more conscious of their water usage and then encourage them to save or reduce usage where possible,” she said.

Caydn, who played a leading role in the screen design and the processes involved in the app, said it had been a daunting project initially “as I did not know where to start”.

“Just going through this process was an education in itself. I went to seven different people and entities to get the project completed, starting with my school’s IT department.

“The thought then arose around getting input from an actual software company to see if it could become a real-world design. MIP were approached and they have a really strong sense of corporate social responsibility.

“They really liked the idea and offered to help and they then did the programming for the app. That, too, was a great learning experience.”

Caydn said while she was now “definitely interested in apps”, she was still aiming to study medicine towards becoming a doctor after finishing school.

“I have really enjoyed the whole process and have learnt a lot. My school and family have been supportive, which has been great,” she said.

Lead software engineer for MIP Holdings, Kurt Schloesser, said it had been the first time his company had taken on a project from a private individual and it had worked out very well.

“She was fun to work with and a really bright pupil.

“The app idea is great in that it can make an impact on communities and the water crisis.

“Beyond being able to manage one’s own water usage, the app allows users to compare their usage with that of other app users. This will have the effect of driving and encouraging the reduction of water use among people,” Schloesser said.