Water Wheel – Solution to the Burden of Water
- Water scarcity
- Distance to water source
- Carrying back water home
Few years from now, cities in India will face major water crisis and the next major crisis to follow will be managing the sanitation. Foreseeing this, large scale projects have been initiated; water lines, sewage lines and treatment plants are being planned. The above mentioned problems are being tackled, to what extent they will be successful only time will tell. This is the scenario in cities.
The BIGGER question is: What about the villages of India where drinking water is a precious commodity?
In spite of all technological developments, even today major parts of India are dependent on weather. When summers are extreme, monsoons fail; bore wells become defunct, ponds and lakes too dry up, where does the common man go to get a glass of drinking water? District administration does step in to supply water through takers, but most villages are not connected. People have to walk long distances to collect their daily requirement of drinking water.
Problem within problem
The onus is most often on the womenfolk of the house to collect water, from distant water sources. And, as if waiting in the serpentine queues at water sources is not enough, they have to carry back water in huge pots on their head. Women in the age group 7 to 70 are involved in this daily chore. Day after day they keep doing the same work.
Where is awareness about the damage they are causing to their back?
Load: approx 20 liters
Distance: .500kms plus
Method: Container on head
- musculoskeletal disorders
- adverse physical stress
- accumulation of fatigue damage
- degenerative changes in bone and soft tissues
- death during child birth
The Solution – Water Wheel
CYNTHIYA KOENIG has done a wonderful job in getting to the crux of the problem within the problem. Reinventing the wheel to solve what was never seen as a problem and what was taken for granted for centuries! It requires a human heart to feel the pain of your co-citizen of this world! I am touched by the initiative she has taken on this.
Thank you Cynthiya Koenig for thinking about this silent but critical problem concerning women!
Her invention, an idea which may look simple to all but occurred to none, is WELLO a water wheel! It is ergonomically designed hence very convenient to use. It can transport 5 times the quantity that can be done individually at a time. Once stored, the water remains clean with nil chance of contamination. The unit is durable and costs Rs. 750 to 1000. This is quite affordable. Though families below poverty line will definitely need some monetary aid. Picture of the water wheel from www.wellowater.org .
What are the other possible solutions?
Even today it is the menfolk who run the show in families. They should be made aware of the consequences their womenfolk are going to face due to this routine chore. Physical loading of the body within an individual’s capacity is okay. It can lead to tissue strengthening, but loading beyond one’s capacity can cause irreversible damage in the body.
Some more possible solutions:
- Invest in methods for easy access of water
- Educate women about the negative impact of carrying heavy load on heads
- Transport water with water wheel, which is designed for rugged terrain of Rajasthan
- Invest in wheel barrows.
- Invest in bicycles to transport water (costlier option than Wello though.).
This innovation has proved to be a boon for many women. Young girls have time to attend schools; women can channelize their energy and time to other financially profitable work. The benefits of Wello, the water wheel are many:
- Saves time and energy for more productive work
- Reduces investments on health problem
- Reduces global disease burden
- Saves lives!
Here is a video of Cynthiya Koenig presenting a solution to one of the most pressing ‘water’ problems of India, the water wheel. Watch and know more.