Smart Taps Trial Reservoir

Revolutionizing rural water access: Smart Taps Trial Reservoir brings clean water to The Gambia

Isle’s Trial Reservoir supported Smart Taps, a project providing rural communities in The Gambia with safe, clean water.

Wellingaraba and Ndemban, rapidly growing villages in The Gambia, lack clean water access. Women and girls bear the burden of fetching and purifying river water. Furthermore, collecting and boiling water presents an added carbon cost. To improve residents’ lives, eWATERservices used loan funding from Isle Utilities’ Climate Change Trial Reservoir to install three Smart Taps. The goal was to deliver 1000L of clean drinking water per tap daily. On trial completion, an average of 1,400 liters per day was delivered to residents. Over 844 million lack clean water worldwide; the trial demonstrates affordable, accessible solutions have transformative potential for safe drinking water.

Benefits of Approach/Innovation

Easy access to clean water: eWATERservices’ Smart Taps provided instant access to water. This gives the community peace of mind that their water is safe to drink.

Social and community benefits: Women and girls are able to attend school rather than spending time fetching and purifying water. The presence of accessible fresh water for proper hygiene also eliminates the need to miss a week of school or work each month due to menstruation.

Reduced OpEx Costs: Locally hired staff undergo training, taking on responsibility for system maintenance and repairs. This has created jobs in the community and fostered a sense of ownership for the project as well as cutting operational costs.

Ease of payment: Water credit can be sent or received by app, text or cash to access water 24/7.

Reduced GHG emissions: Trial resulted in a reduction of 3.03 kg CO2 equivalent per liter of water, translating to an estimated annual decrease of 375 tons CO2 equivalent associated with water collection and purification.

Low user cost: Cost per person is $6/year.

Specialist Services Involved:

Trial Design support: We evaluate technology trial plans based on users’ innovation frames.  The Trial Reservoir specifically address key questions that the trial must answer.

Trial validation: We receive and assess the trial end report from the technology vendor. The Trial Reservoir specifically addresses key questions that the trial must answer.

Due Diligence: Isle has a robust process for helping stakeholders adopt innovative technologies and ensuring they are fit for purpose.

Loan funding: Isle facilitates negotiation with technology developers and end users to agree upon the trials’ critical success factors and key performance indicators (KPIs). Loans are then released to the technology developers.

Zero Risk Trial: Should a trial not meet its KPIs, there is no obligation for the tech company to pay back the loan. Similarly, there is no obligation for the end user to make a purchase order; the Trial Reservoir assumes the risk.

Investor Introductions: Isle uses its extensive worldwide network to provide introductions to potential investors.


Reliable water supply: Trial supplied 1500 people with fresh, clean, accessible water in two villages where it was not otherwise readily available. Each Smart Tap delivered an average of 1500-1700 liters of water per day or 1 billion total liters over the trial period.

Carbon reduction: The trial was projected to cut 375 tons of CO2 equivalent linked to water collection and purification per year, or 3.03kg/L.

Created job opportunities: The trial has generated valuable job opportunities within the community, reducing operational costs and contributing to economic sustainability.

Fostered sense of ownership: Engaging the community in system maintenance and repair has cultivated a strong sense of ownership. This approach ensures that each person feels connected to the project’s success.

Health benefits: Clean water for drinking and sanitation has profound health benefits, primarily by reducing the burden of disease. The WHO estimates that improving access to clean water could help save 1.4 million lives annually.

Reduced inequalities: Having water accessible on demand has the dual benefit of freeing up time for girls and women to attain an education and work. It also removes a barrier to their participation during menstruation by enabling proper hygiene.

Key Contacts:

For inquiries and further information, please contact Dr. Jo Burgess.


Photo credit: eWATERservices

Service Spotlight
The Smart Taps trial enhanced clean water access in The Gambia, holding promise for global application. Its success addresses water disparities, improves health, well-being and aids climate change mitigation.
Trial provided rural clean water access
Cut carbon and social costs of water
Successfully demonstrated proof of concept
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