Inventing the Wheel

While the integrated system of smart water and advanced technologies appeals to consumers in more economically developed countries (MEDCs), low-tech solutions can also be impactful. One billion people globally lack reliable access to safe water, requiring transportation of over nearly a kilometer (0.5 miles) from source to home. In practice, women, who disproportionately bear the responsibility, spend 25% of each day on average transporting water. Nineteen liters (5 gallons) of water—the approximate amount a person requires each day—weighs around 19 kilograms (42 pounds). The Wello team spent 2 years in India designing and testing the WaterWheel, a round container holding 45 liters (12 gallons) of water that can be pushed along the ground as a wheel rather than carried aloft. The efficiency of transporting so much water at a time with a significantly reduced physical burden opens up time and opportunity for many other activities including education, employment, and leisure. Manual water transportation does not supply water as conveniently or efficiently as a piped system, but the WaterWheel is a step toward a democratized resource.

Image Credits: Courtesy/Wello.

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