In the remote villages, women carrying water on their heads from very far is not uncommon even today. Many aid and charitable organizations are working hard to provide wells close to communities. But an international venture Wello has developed an innovative solution that is ‘Water Wheel’ to solve the problem of water collection. In September 2011, the Wello team arrived in India with the goal of answering one big question: “How might we improve the experience of collecting, storing, and using water?” The answer was ‘Water Wheel.’
By reframing the water crisis as an opportunity, Wello has reinvented the wheel and developed an innovative business model that empowers individuals to use the Water Wheel as an income-generating tool to lift their families out of poverty.
The Water Wheel is a 50L rolling drum that eases the drudgery of water collection. It allows users (especially women and girls) to transport 3-5x more water than possible using traditional methods (such as pots carried on the head). Since it was designed in the Thar Desert, the material and functionality of the product make it useful in many terrains – rocky, sandy, paved road, dirt roads, etc. “We developed an innovative business model that will enable us to offer the Water Wheel at an affordable price. Local manufacturing (in Ahmedabad, India) and CSR partnerships help us keep costs as low as possible,” said Sruthi Sadujan, Manager – Business Development, Wello
The Wello developed a wide range of concepts and designs in collaboration with the WaterWheel’s intended users, identified the features that were most important to them, and developed a prototype.“We have found men are more likely to collect water when using the Water Wheel. We are excited by the fact that the Water Wheel could potentially change an age-old tradition, finally allowing both men and women to share the task of water collection,” Sadujan said.
Households are saving up to 2 hours every day by using the Water Wheel. It has made an impact on girls’ school attendance, allowed women to devote more time to activities that earn them income (i.e. quilting and stitching), allowed farmers to more effectively tend to their crops, and has overall relieved the burden of water collection from the shoulders of women and girls.
More over it is hygienic, high quality and affordable. The Water Wheel is manufactured from high-quality, human-safe plastics. It’s a smart investment, long lasting and is durable enough to handle the roughest terrain. By giving people easier access to potable water, the Water Wheel frees up valuable time, and in the process, removes barriers that prevent children from going to school and empowers women to engage in more productive activities.