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C_H2O Team Forging Change in The Water Sector



The AquaTally project by Team C_H2O aims to address the pressing issue of water wastage and promote water conservation awareness, particularly in areas that are isolated or prone to water scarcity. The UNESCO-designated site chosen for the team’s project location is the jewel of Kedah – Pulau Langkawi. AquaTally’s main target beneficiary is tourism, especially accommodation industries such as hotels, and local communities in Langkawi.

Project Location

Langkawi Island, Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark, Malaysia

Image source: Langkawi Development Authority

Main Beneficiary

The main beneficiaries of the AquaTally project are the tourism sector, particularly hotels and other accommodation industries, as well as the local communities in Langkawi, who will benefit from improved water conservation practices and reduced water wastage.

Problem Statement

Pulau Langkawi experiences water scarcity, exacerbated by rapid development and wasteful practices such as uncontrolled water usage in hotels, households, and public facilities. This not only strains local water resources but also threatens the ecosystem and impacts the island’s tourism-dependent economy. The AquaTally project seeks to mitigate water wastage and enhance conservation efforts in the UNESCO Global Geopark site of Pulau Langkawi.



The project is guided by two primary objectives. Initially, it focuses on capturing real-time data on water usage to promptly notify users of excessive consumption, thereby preventing wastage from daily use or plumbing leaks. The goal is to analyze the collected data to enhance consumer insights into their water usage patterns.

In the long term, the project aims to document the critically low water usage among residents prompting SADA, the regional water supply authority, to address the issue and ensure a stable water supply for Pulau Langkawi.

Project Approach and Methods

The team’s strategy to fulfill their objectives involved collecting data on Langkawi residents’ daily water consumption. To facilitate this, they engineered an affordable, replicable, and accessible smart water meter.

The device’s architecture featured two Arduino Nano boards, a buzzer, and a hydroturbine motor, which was integrated into the water pipeline. As water flowed through, it activated the motor, generating power for the Arduino units. The first Arduino (distributed unit) measured water usage by calculating the average voltage produced by the hydro turbine over ten-second intervals, providing an estimate of water flow. It also controlled a buzzer to alert users to unusually high-water consumption. The second Arduino (central unit) transmitted the collected data to the cloud for analysis and monitoring via a mobile application.

To validate their solution, the team engaged with diverse stakeholders in Langkawi throughout April 2024. They liaised with LADA, a government agency, to lend credibility to the project and identify collaborative partners among local hotels and businesses. The Bohoq Villa Airbnb allowed the installation of AquaTally modules in their hostels to monitor guest water usage. Additionally, residents and community leaders participated by permitting module installation in their homes for a week-long trial. This community engagement was crucial in assessing the design’s effectiveness.

Project Impact

The AquaTally project’s impacts in Langkawi are multifaceted, contributing to the conservation of heritage resources and sustainable development through eco-tourism. It addresses key water and environmental sustainability issues, providing a strategic framework for action towards sustainable development in the region. The project’s initiatives, such as the smart water meter system, play a crucial role in managing water resources effectively, which is essential for the ecological and socio-economic well-being of the local community and the integrity of the geopark’s ecosystems.

Project Highlight

See C_H2O’s project highlight below:


  • Local Community Leaders and Residents of Pulau Langkawi
  • Langkawi Development Agency
  • Bohoq Villa


Known for their resilience and mutual understanding, the members of “C_H2O” have nurtured their bond since their mid-teens, which reflects as a testament to their collaborative strengths and shared aspirations in tackling climate and water issues. The Malaysian youth team’s journey to the UWRC 2024 is more than a story about a competition; it is a narrative about friendship, perseverance, and the relentless pursuit of making a meaningful difference. As they continue to work towards their goals, their story serves as an inspiration to other young innovators around the world, proving that when passion and friendship collide, the possibilities are boundless.

Kueh Tze Shuen ([email protected] / Instagram: @kuehtzeshuen)
Houng Jun Hong ([email protected] / Instagram: @houngjunhong)
Chai Hong Jie ([email protected] / Instagram: @chai_hong_jie)
Ivy Kuan Yen Ting ([email protected] / Instagram: @ivyykuan)

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