While I was in middle school, California was enduring one of the most intense and persistent droughts in the state’s history. I distinctly remember seeing signs with the words “Brown in the New Green” plastered across them popping up in every neighborhood. While I understood the intent behind these messages, my determined mind wasn’t ready to accept that our state could not have flourishing green plants once again - I did not want brown to replace green forever and I knew I had to do something about it. I was president of my school’s environmental club, the Greenkeepers, where we did weekly recycling runs, creek cleans ups and watered our school’s trees during the year. While watering these plants, I started to realize how much water was wasted. We would pour buckets of water for these trees, never knowing when we were over watering, and a large portion of that water would evaporate. Around the same time, I learned about the scientific phenomena of diffusion and osmosis – the movement of water from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration, which results in an equal balance of concentration in both regions. These phenomena always fascinated me and stuck in the back of my mind. While growing up, I occasionally helped with gardening and learned that my parents would spread used tea leaves and coffee grounds as a soil fertilizer to increase the soil’s pH value to an optimal level. As a culmination of these learnings and experiences, the idea of Aqua-Pods was born.
Our team consists of local high schoolers who are dedicated to protecting our environment and making a dent in the global water crisis. Team members actively plan and present at various outreach events, help make our educational material and are instrumental in forging global partnerships.
ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS
We used the business model canvas and engineering design process to develop our solution of Aqua-Pods. Eager to make a significant dent in the global water crisis, we first identified the area of largest water consumption, then brainstormed solutions to reduce water wastage like recycling home water, developing special soil, and eventually came up with Aqua-Pods. After positive results from competitive analysis and extensive experiments, discussions and feedback from industry experts & the community, we finalized the idea and created a fully functional prototype and filed for a provisional patent. Now, we are distributing Aqua-Pods globally!
Aarushi Wadhwa, Founder