Published: 30th June 2021
This Bengaluru student believes he has the answer to solving India's water crisis. This is what it is
Rishabh Prashobh speaks to us about why he's batting for the humble aerator as a way to solve our impending water scarcity. He has fixed hundreds of aerators in apartment complexes and hotels
When Rishabh Prashobh was part of 1 Million For 1 Billion (1M1B), a social innovation and future skills initiative aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2019, he was asked to work on a project for a social cause. Having seen the water scarcity issue in Bengaluru by himself, he wanted to find a solution for this problem that exists across India — and the world.
Rishabh, who is only 15, says, "I keep reading about various issues plaguing the planet such as air pollution, sound pollution and so on. But what haunted me the most was the water scarcity that exists across India. I noticed that several ponds and lakes in Bengaluru had dried up. During the summers, most of the newspapers and TV channels had also shown us how people struggled to get a consistent water supply at home." Rishabh spoke to environmental experts and NGOs that worked on the ground and understood that with the population growing, the water consumption and demand also kept increasing.
That's when Rishabh thought of a solution — fixing aerators in water taps in houses and apartment complexes. Aerators are small devices that are attached to the ends of taps or water outlets to increase the water flow, reduce the rate of flow and save water along the way. He says, "The best way to reduce water consumption is to fix aerators in the water taps in kitchens and bathrooms. According to my calculation and analysis, when we fix aerators, the waters flowing from taps can be reduced to three litres instead of six. Initially, I tested this aerator at home. In 2019, I fixed the aerators at my grandmother's home. To our surprise the next month when the water bill was split among 17 homes in the apartment, the bill was reduced from Rs 340 to Rs 250."
After that, there was no looking back and he approached the Residents' Association in his housing complex, explained the solution and showed them how it has proven to be successful in his grandmother's home. "The residents were surprised (at the results) and they agreed to fix two aerators in their homes — one in the bathroom and one on the kitchen tap" he says, adding, "By doing this, we can save 20 lakh litres of water with respect to daily water consumption."
In the same year, Rishabh was able to convince large hotels in Kerala to fix aerators and reduce their water consumption — leading to their saving a lot of water. Similarly, he approached the principal of his school, National Academy for Learning, to replicate this success. Unfortunately, before they could measure the impact of the aerators installed in the school, COVID-19 hit and the schools closed. However, Rishabh has been asking people to fix aerators in their homes and in apartment complexes and even commercial establishments, to save as much water as possible.