Water Tree

The Last Mile of Water: Catchment and Storage

need Rural Orissa women are responsible for collecting water for their families. A family of five requires 100 liters of water per day. Collecting this volume of water takes hours because the source is six to ten kilometers away. The whole family lives on four dollars per day.
when October, 2012
where Stanford University
partner Gabrielle Guthrie
  • There is a huge gap between income ($4 / day) and common entry points into water catchment (around $80).
  • A lot of water is lost during the wet season.
  • Current water collection practices are time consuming and have a high risk of contamination.
  • Because water sources are so far from the home, women must bring children with them to collect water.
POV There should be an affordable, simple way to collect and store a days worth of water near the home, enabling women to spend less time collecting water each day.
concept Water Tree is an extremly affordable water catchement and storage system made from PVC pipe and vinyl impregnated canvas. It is easy to use, easy to repair, and fits into the current cultural landscape. Water Tree is easily hackable. For example, users can drape a sari over it to filter water from a well or position it to catch water runoff from their roofs. Users can also repair it easily by using tarp to patch holes and replacing PVC supports with bamboo and other locally sourced materials.
value Water Tree offers a simple, affordable water catchment and storage solution. Time is saved and the risk of contamination is decreased by placing the water source so close to home, enabling women to maintain healthly, efficient water practices.

“People would rather drink from the stream than to pay for water. But there is a williness to pay for water infrastructure.“
“Fecal matter percentage goes way up from the source to the home with each botttle or vessel.”
– Melissa Rhode, HCD Connect

“Everyone stores water, but usually not for more than 24 hours.”
“Adults are used to getting sick, they’ve built up resistance. They don’t think it’s actually a problem because they’re so used to it.”
– Valerie Bauza, Water, Health, & Development, Stanford

  • Product Design