Women in Tech Seek Solutions to Shortage of Drinkable Water

Jan 152014

There is nothing more essential to life than water. Yet in Costa Rica, potable water is in short supply, even for people living close to the country’s world-famous beaches.

I thought, what better way to help the media find out why water-distribution systems fail and identify solutions than by bringing journalists, data-visualization experts and developers to a place that struggles to maintain a regular supply of clean water? So we held Chicas Poderosas on the Beach, a meetup in Nicoya, Costa Rica.

Chicas Poderosas, which I'm leading as an ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellow, aims to empower women in Latin America to get involved and lead in newsroom technology and interactive design.

Through Chicas, we put together teams of people who have complementary skills so they can build tailored, interactive content that addresses societal problems.

We gathered in December in Guanacaste, a province that has one of the world’s weakest water distribution systems. Three teams that included journalists from Voz de Guanacaste, Costa Rica's La Nación, and the Tico Times, worked on news applications to help analyze data on potability, consumption, distribution and treatment of water in the province.

Read Santos’ complete post on IJNet.

The International Journalists' Network, IJNet, keeps professional and citizen journalists up to date on the latest media innovations, online journalism resources, training opportunities and expert advice. ICFJ produces IJNet in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. IJNet is supported by donors including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Images courtesy of ©Fiorella Coto Signini.