Applicant: Sustainable Innovations, India
Project: Networked underground rain water tanks ensure economical water supply
Water from heaven
In many regions of India life is especially hard. Day for day drinking water must be tediously carried over long distances. One of the driest regions in India is the state of Rajasthan with a population of 56 million and only 45 days a year with rain. Women and children walk long distances to provide water for the family. Polluted drinking water often causes illnesses. However, installing a well is often too expensive.
Dr. B. P. Agrawal, who grew up in a small village in Rajasthan, had to carry water daily in his childhood. This experience gave him the idea for “Aakash Gangaist” (river from heaven), a project implemented by the non-profit organization Sustainable Innovations. The principle is simple but efficient: Rain water is harvested from roofs and collected in an underground, networked tank system. This clean sweet water is then available for people and animals at an affordable price: The cost is only 5% of water from drilled wells (based on utilization over 25 years).
Six villages with 10,000 residents are already profiting from this water from heaven. By 2010 another 70 systems are to be installed. This means clean water for 250,000 people. Projects are also in planning in China.