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Dr. BP Agrawal has won the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability, and for good reason! He’s innovated a new rainwater harvesting system for communities in India:

Aakash Ganga (AG) is one of the signature innovations that Dr. BP Agrawal developed under Sustainable Innovations (SI), a non-profit organization. SI harvests innovations in systems, technologies and entrepreneurship to build holistically sustainable social enterprises. AG is a rainwater harvesting system utilized to collect safe drinking water in the arid region of Rajasthan, India. The system channels rooftop rainwater from every house in a community through gutters and pipes to a network of multi-tier underground reservoirs with large enough capacity to store a year of drinking water.

Part of the harvested rooftop rainwater is stored in the House Tank, or Griha Tanka, a reservoir attached to a house for the exclusive use of the home owner. Typically, the Griha Tanka stores enough water to meet the drinking water needs of the family for a year.

The rest of the rainwater flows to the Community Tank, or Gram Tanka, a shared community reservoir. People who live under thatched roofs or who cannot afford to have their own reservoirs take water from the shared reservoir.

A little more about the Lemelson-MIT Program:

The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes the outstanding inventors and innovators transforming our world, and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through innovation.

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Becky Stern

Becky Stern is director of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site: sternlab.org


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