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Julia Guthrie
October 17, 2016

Clean Water in the Third World, Made Possible by TerraClear and Mobile Apps

Dan Rice works for TerraClear, an organization whose mission is to improve access to clean drinking water among rural populations in
Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). Lao PDR is on the United Nations’ least developed country list, and therefore largely lacks basic resources to keep water clean for its citizens.

TerraClear makes an affordable and effective ceramic water filter for household water treatment. The organization sells the filters to individual families at a subsidized rate and offer a payment plan in order to make the technology accessible to everyone.

Empowering families to purchase the water filters, as opposed to giving them away, creates a sense of ownership and responsibility for taking care of the filter, and helps everyone gain a greater understanding about the importance of and process behind water sanitization.

In order to run the water filter program efficiently, Dan and his teammates need to be able to keep track of customer data and payment information. Paper forms create more work and opportunities for data loss and errors. TerraClear needs the ability to record information digitally. And because the team is often in remote areas where Internet connection isn’t available, they need the functionality to record information securely while offline.

Dan built an app with AppSheet and is using it to manage customers and payments. The app is allowing the organization to operate more effectively and rapidly, and ultimately enabling them to help more Laotian families in need.

“We had been looking for efficient and simple ways to manage our information capture without a lot of duplicated paper systems. We explored some quick app building tools, but found AppSheet to be the easiest to use for our staff. The ability to access data offline and sync after capturing data offline were critical features that have really performed well. We’ve been very happy with AppSheet and see a lot of opportunity to use it to build apps in the future to help us manage our operations,” he says.

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