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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.

becky stern headshot Inventor improves clean water access in rural India

Becky Stern

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

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