This year South America is facing the biggest water crisis in history. The main reasons are climate change, deforestation, and the explosive growth of cities. In parts of Sao Paulo there are already houses where water is only available 12 out of 24 hours a day. The situation worsens when the dry season begins in April and residents have to live without water 4-5 days per week. Lack of water becomes a potential source of serious social conflict.
Despite the existence of hundreds of water recycling products since the 1940’s, very few people use them. These solutions are too expensive and complicated to use, especially in countries with serious water shortages. Gris is a realistic and feasible solution that is affordable and as simple to use as a bucket. It can dramatically reduce domestic water usage and be integrated into the homes of millions. Gris collects 95% of the water used during a shower and enables reuse for toilet-flushing, cleaning, irrigation and other household activities.
According to UNESCO, every $1 invested in improved water supply and sanitation can yield between $4 and $12 for the local economy, depending on the type of project. Gris saves at least 40 liters of water per person per day, or 60.000 liters per year for an average Brazilian family. Based on its 60 million households, Brazil could save 2.4 billion liters of water per day or 876 billion liters per year, translating to $8.4 billion per year – or 0,37% of Brazil’s GDP in 2013. The average citizen of Sao Paulo uses 175 liters of water per day, versus the WHO recommendation of 110 liters. Gris can make up 40 liters of the 65 liters difference and has the potential to solve 60% of Brazil’s water shortage.
Statement of the JuryThis entry was seen as very important, useful and valuable – the question is, why hasn’t this been thought of before? The concept of collecting used water in a low cost way and making it reusable for a different purpose is a simple, lean, no-frills idea, but it tackles an important global issue and hence could have massive impact. The technical execution seems to have been thoroughly thought through and well prototyped. In areas of the world where the biggest water crisis in decades is being felt, this seems to be a smart, flexible, and feasible solution.
Allberto VasquezSince 2013 Founder and CEO at IgenDesign, Budapest, Hungary
2007 - 2010 BA Studies at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Faculty of Industrial and Product Design, Budapest, Hungary
2011 - 2014 MA Studies at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Faculty of Product Design, Budapest, Hungary
2007 - 2008 Internship at Co&Co Designcommunications, Budapest, Hungary
2009 - 2010 Internship at Innomed Medical Inc., Budapest, Hungary
2010 - 2011 Internship at Central Hungarian Innovation Center, Budaörs, Hungary
Since 2013 Founder and CEO at IgenDesign, Budapest, Hungary
device = mobile