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in brief: water wheel to improve Indian women’s quality of life

Collecting clean water in India will soon become an easier process as the WaterWheel is set to be made available to citizens of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat states.

The 50 litre rolling plastic drum manufactured by US social venture Wello will mainly help women – who traditionally collect water for their families – navigate the tough terrain from well to home.

But the device has also begun to make water collection a more gender neutral job due to men seeing it as a tool.

‘It has reduced the burden on women. A nurse told me she is not late for work anymore because [her] husband collects the water,’ Wello CEO and founder, Cynthia Koenig told the Guardian.

It will also reduce the travel time of water collection and the strain of the customary method of carting litres upon litres of water on the head and shoulders.

The device was designed with a $100,000 grant from Grand Challenges Canada in consultation with Rajasthani locals who were enthusiastic about the idea of rolling water.

‘We were surprised the idea had so much traction – we never thought it would work in India,’ Koenig said.

The WaterWheel will be available on the market at USD$25-30, compared with similar products at $75-100 making it more accessible.

‘Our goal is to distribute on a large scale, on small margins to 10,000-20,000 customers a year,’ Koenig said.

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