WaterWheel aims to lighten the load for women in developing nations
By Nick Lavars
January 6, 2014
Since landing in India in September of 2011, social venture Wello has carried out extensive research in an effort to improve the efficiency of water transport and storage in developing countries. For many people living in these areas the chore of walking long distances while carrying buckets of water is inefficient, dangerous and counter-productive. The team's work has culminated in what it believes could form part of a solution, a prototype for a pushable high-quality plastic container dubbed the WaterWheel.
The Waterwheel uses the same principle as the Hippo roller which we first encountered in 2006 and is currently in use throughout Africa – i.e. why carry water when you can roll it.
Measuring 470 mm (18.5 in) in height and 460 mm (18.11 in) in diameter, the WaterWheel has a capacity of 50 L and can be refilled through a 55 mm (2.16 in) hole on its top. It also features a specially designed cap-in-cap seal to prevent recontamination at the point of use, which Wello says is the single most effective way of reducing diarrheal disease.
Health benefits aside, the WaterWheel stands to increase productivity in rural areas by significantly reducing the time spent transporting water. According to Wello, women in these regions spend an average of 25 percent of their day collecting water for their families. With an potential to transport three to five times the amount of water that can be carried using traditional methods, the WaterWheel has the potential to free up time for more constructive activities such as education and food preparation.
In developing the prototype, the team spent 15 months conducting field research and interviewed over 1500 community members in villages in the north-west of India. It will use local manufacturers in Ahmedabad, India to produce to WaterWheel which it says will help to keep costs low.
Wello's vision for the WaterWheel is outlined in the following video. You can also hit the source link below to find out how to get involved in this very worthy project.