Project Lead(s): Cynthia Koenig
Globally, more than a billion people lack reliable access to water.
The traditional method of water collection places an exorbitant time and physical burden on women and children.
Implemented in India, the project team designed and manufactured a WaterWheel, and tested its usefulness in reducing the burden of water collection, to enable women and children to engage in more productive activities.
The WaterWheel is a water container that is rolled on the ground and replaces the traditional method of carrying containers on the head.
The key activities undertaken in order to achieve proof of concept were as follows:
· Identifying and targeting high-impact consumers, and measuring the social impact of the WaterWheel
· Validating the appropriateness of the design (user interface, price point) and identifying ways to increase efficiency of manufacturing
· Building and growing a strong, India-based team, and identifying and investing in the systems needed to scale the product.
Data from 100 WaterWheel users over an 18-month period showed:
· A 50% reduction in the time spent collecting water
· An increase in access to 50% more water daily (average 22L/pp/day), meaning individuals are now meeting basic United Nations/World Health Organization health standards
· An increase in income of 20%–100% by saving more, having time to do other work or using the WaterWheel as a revenue source.
· Validation of consumer willingness to pay (1,000–1,400 rupees without financing, 1,250–2,000 with financing).
The project team has laid the groundwork for the next steps by scaling the manufacturing capacity, investing in building a strong local team, and developing systems to enable efficient and effective operation.