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Research reports

Use of sensors to support the monitoring and maintenance of pump services

A literature review on the use of sensor technology to support handpumps

2023 Available in English

Cover image of the literature review on the use of sensors to support the monitoring and maintenance of pump services

This review looks at key literature published over the last ten years on using sensor technology to monitor and maintain handpumps. It explains how this technology works, where it has been used and some of the key challenges that have been faced.

The review discusses: 

  • how sensor functionality data is used to improve handpump water services 
  • the costs and potential revenue of using sensor technology 
  • selected projects that have used or are currently using handpump sensor technology (and the electric pump)
  • the potential that sensors have to improve rural drinking water supplies 

A list of definitions has also been provided to aid understanding of the technical terminology.


Sensor technology and sensor data for handpumps (and electric pumps) is an evolving field of research and development. Detailed information on all initiatives is not yet readily available in the public domain. Therefore, there may be gaps in the literature review.

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