Thursday, August 25, 2011

One Woman Working To Bring Safe Water to Millions With A Simple Barrel (Video)

Image via video screengrab

by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California

We've seen a variety of designs for carrying water over the years -- from the Hippo Roller to the Water Cycle. But this design by Cynthia Koenig, called the Wello WaterWheel, may be one of the most simple. Essentially a barrel with a handle to push it, it can transport 25 gallons, relieving women and girls from the burden of carrying water which, according to Koenig, is equivalent to "getting off an airplane in La Guardia, putting your checked baggage on your head and walking to the Brooklyn Bridge" every single day.

Koenig states in an interview with ABC News,

"The WaterWheel is a 25-gallon drum that moves five times the amount of water possible than traditional methods, which is five gallons on the head. So not only is it alleviating women and girls from this tremendous physical burden of water collection, but it's also reducing the time burden; women and girls spend about 25 percent of their time each day collecting water. So by using the water wheel it frees up their time to spend their time on more productive activities like work or school."

Koenig states that she sees the barrel as a platform for future designs -- from adding filtration and drip irrigation kits, to adding a cell phone charger that uses the rotation of the wheel to generate electricity for a full battery. That would be an amazing addition considering most developing worlds are leapfrogging land lines and going straight to cell phones as a way to do everything from make calls to make payments for goods.

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