Sunday, July 13, 2014

Water problem in India and my internship!

India has 4% of water sources of the world, while it supports 15% of the world population. Additionally, available water source is not uniformly distributed across the nation. As a result, few areas of India have water surplus and few areas have limited access to water. This kind of situations is present across developing nations or underdeveloped nations.  

One of the major problems due to spatial variations in water availability is unavailability of water source at home or at the point of consumption in water deficient areas. In such areas, people, mainly women, carry water on their head. They spend on average ~1.5 hrs per day in water collection. Distant water sources not only result in the physical problem but also reduced opportunities to earn more. A person in water deficient areas earns lesser than a similar background person in water surplus area. 

Fig-1: Waterwheel: A kid pushes filled WW during a demo
I am glad that this summer I am spending my time with WELLO working on WATERWHEEL (WW). Figure - 1 shows WW. WW reduces both aforementioned problems of people at BoP: base of the pyramid.  The WW can carry 50 li water in one trip without any head load. Further, It reduces overall water collection time by 1/3rd as it can carry 3 times more water than a head load container. Fig-2 shows traditional water collection method by Indian woman. This work gives me an internal pleasure of contributing to the society in which I spent my entire childhood.

 Fig-2: An Indian woman carry water on her head.           
My project at WELLO is composed of following work streams a). pricing of WW, b).forecasting demand, c). formulating distribution strategy and d). preparing financials. So far, I have completed first two objectives and rest of the objectives are to be completed in next 3 weeks.

Pricing of WW is an interesting topic. I met 200 people across 20 villages to discover people’s willingness to pay for the WW. Pricing experiments also helped me to introduce WW to more than 5000+ people through product demo and word of mouth. 

Keep reading my blog to discover a). water problem in India and globally, b). my journey to villages while discovering WTP: willingness to pay for WW and c). impact of WW on the life of people at base of pyramid - both on physical as well as on economic conditions.

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