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Jensen & Özadar winners in the RSA Design Competition

Karina Jensen (Media Lab) together with Selim Özadar (Aalto BIZ) won the RSA Design Competition for Students / Water for All.

The project is ‘Guardians of Water’.

Jensen and Özadar write:

Every year, women in developing countries spend 40 billion hours collectively on carrying water according to the UN Development Program. There has been a lot of attempts to find product-based solutions to this problem from both nonprofit and commercial sectors, however a scalable solution has yet to be found. Most water carrying devices are expensive, hard to repair and requires major behaviour change to be adapted by the local communities. 

Instead of trying to implement foreign concepts, we decide to focus on available assets. Women in developing countries are not only the carriers of water but also the managers. They are responsible for the usage of water within their households. Thus, we declare them as the Guardians of Water. Our approach lies in strengthening their knowledge about water sources around them. There are two main benefits of this: They get a tool for management of watersupplies and crucial knowledge about their local water supplies for future project developments. This makes them strong partners for NGOs and governments in water related topics.

Today, water sensors can measure many life-saving parameters and upload the data to an online system at very low costs. In fact, in many developing countries there are existing companies who can easily implement such system and deliver maintenance service. These water sensors can be customised for different water sources and give necessary data on water level, quality or even the density of harmful bacteria. 

We aim to implement sensors in nearby water sources of a pilot village and visualise the data which can be accessed through smart phones or computers. Through these visualisations, women in the village will gain at tool for management + more knowledge of the water they manage.

About RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)

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