This product was inspired by a few things. One was the Flint water crisis in Michigan where the water was unsafe to drink for the residents of Flint Michigan. Since we live so close to this area, this crisis really emphasized the dangers of unsafe water consumption. Additionally, we had participated in Science Olympiad in the even “Water Quality.” So, we have quite a bit of prior knowledge regarding water quality and potable water. The combination of these were the inspiration for Aqvana.

What it does

Our product is an app that has an SMS alert system using Twilio. Through the application, users are able to input their zip code and get alerts on the water quality in their area. The app also specifies what the numbers mean (excellent, good, poor, etc.) The water quality is measured based on the nine parameters in the water quality index.

How we built it

We used a variety of different techniques to build our project. We first started by coding it in python and using different libraries such as Pandas, in order to read and modify the excel files as DataFrames, and we used NumPy to calculate the linear regression for the value of our variables, such as nitrite nitrogen content, turbidity, and more, and the WQI. In addition, we used Twilio in order to send a text message alert with the WQI for a particular date.

Challenges we ran into

The biggest challenge we faced was learning how to navigate everything since this was our first hackathon. It was quite an experience and we had to figure out everything along the way on how to organize ourselves and go about the project itself. Additionally, each of us have minimal coding experience so we ran into challenges regarding making sure our code consistently works each time. Finally, we ran into an issue with Twilio where one of our team member’s accounts was not working when created so after some troubleshooting we ended up having another team member make an account and used that.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Since it is our first hackathon, we are proud of being able to get a project together! With our minimal coding experience, it was also a big accomplishment that our code worked. Overall, this was an amazing experience where our coding and prototyping skills were put to the test and strengthened.

What we learned

We learned about the collaborative nature of hacking and building a project within time constraints and how creativity can flourish under those constraints. We were also honored to attend the workshops such as Presentation Karaoke and Machine Learning with Amazon which allowed us to expand our knowledge and prepare us for a future in attending hackathons and growing our skill pool larger.

What's next for Aqvana

With more time, we would love to incorporate more features into our application. This would include expanding our database so it can accommodate everyone on a global scale. Additionally, making sure our data can be automatically updated based on the most recent information available for the area. A cool feature to include would be the user to be able to input two zip codes and compare the water quality in both areas. Finally, an important feature would be to provide the user with information on clean water practices.

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