Balde a Balde is a portable faucet that delivers running water from any bucket. For families living without piped connections, it is an innovative and cost-effective way to access many of the health and convenience benefits of running water.
A universal clip attaches the unit to any existing container. A squeeze of the siphon pump initiates a continuous flow of water. Tapping the spout instantly turns on and off the water, while twisting the valve regulates the volume of water.
-Promotes health by supplying the hygienic benefits of running water
-Makes hand washing more accessible to children
-Allows for exact control of where and how much water is used, to save water consumption
-Provides the experience and dignity of using a tap
-Increases productivity by minimizing the time and attention required for a variety of water-related tasks
-Convenient, easy, one-handed operation
In Fall of 2011, we conducted at 10-day research trip to Cerro Verde, a slum of Lima, Peru, to better understand the problems they faced, and develop solutions to relieve the burden of water poverty through social innovation and co-creation. The families we visited, like nearly half of the global population, live without running water.
Insights from field research:
-Handwashing can prevent twice as many water-borne deaths as clean drinking water alone. But without running water, children skip washing their hands, or people “wash” hands in grey water, or simulate a flow of water by holding a tub in their mouth and pouring water over their hands - exposing themselves and source water to contamination.
-Women spend the majority their day keeping clean - laundering clothing, washing dishes, cleaning produce. They transfer water from bucket to bucket, often spilling or contaminating it.
-Families spend a significant part of their income on water and healthcare costs.
This product concept was developed from observed patterns of behavior and consumption. Phone and video feedback during development dictated direction of design.
The first round of prototypes was tested with three families in Lima, Peru. We redesigned Balde a Balde based on the video feedback and sent improved prototypes to be tested in Santiago, Chile, and are currently awaiting feedback. The design is close to manufacture, with minor improvements needed to maximize health and sanitary benefits, water efficiency, culturally appropriate aesthetics and affordability.
We have also received a grant to fund next steps, which include larger-scale pilot testing of the design and business model, and have arranged to work with engineers to optimize the manufacturability and durability of the parts.
Projected cost will be $6 retail to be purchased directly, unsubsidized by the end-user. We are also exploring potential for attachments, including heating, overnight filtering, and shower.