Today, the community of Lahanda in Keonjhar, Odisha in India commissioned a water system delivering safe drinking water on tap to 206 residents. The community is treating the water using an invention called the Hydrodoser, developed by New York State nonprofit AguaClara Reach. The Hydrodoser is a gravity-based, sensor-and-pump-free technology that delivers an accurate amount of chlorine to disinfect water, making it safe for human consumption. The simple yet sophisticated technology is making it a viable drinking water treatment option for remote communities that cannot afford conventional, electric-powered water treatment.
The Hydrodoser automatically turns on and off with the water supply, and is made from inexpensive materials including PVC pipes and sheets, flexible tubes, and HDPE drums. “The use of off-the-shelf materials is critical,” says AguaClara Reach Executive Director, Maysoon Sharif. “It ensures that the community can inexpensively and easily replace parts on their own in the future.” For a monthly cost of $1 per household, each community member will receive 70 liters of water per day. This is sufficient to provide safe drinking water for all household needs, including cooking, brushing teeth, and bathing.
AguaClara Reach provides safe drinking water technology and training, working with local partners in the field to implement solutions. In India they worked with local NGO Gram Vikas to fabricate the Hydrodoser. In Lahanda, each household also built a bathroom, including a toilet with running water, and tap stand for other household purposes. Many households have also opted to construct a shower room. These additional facilities help ensure that the entire village will be able to tend to all of their hygienic needs.
The inspiration for the Hydrodoser came from over two years of experience implementing AguaClara technologies in the state of Jharkhand. In 2013, AguaClara Reach – then AguaClara LLC, a social enterprise spun out of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and winner of Best for the World Overall in 2015 and 2017 – spearheaded the deployment of its Enclosed Stacked Rapid Sand (EStaRS) Filters in two villages in the state. The EStarS Filters were meant to be simple enough for local operators to run, while wasting 80% less water and requiring 80% less area to build than the conventional rapid sand filter. An early version of the Hydrodoser was installed alongside the EStarS Filters and also as a stand-alone unit in two other villages where filtration of the water was not required.