• Wat'bag
  • Exploded view of wat'bag
    Exploded view of wat'bag
  • Wat'bag steps
    Wat'bag steps
  • Wat'bag 3 parts
    Wat'bag 3 parts
  • Final prototype, ready for be filled
    Final prototype, ready for be filled
  • Final prototype with fixed pouch
    Final prototype with fixed pouch
  • Final prototype when it's closed
    Final prototype when it's closed
  • Cap sketches
    Cap sketches
  • Pouch sketches
    Pouch sketches
  • First prototypes
    First prototypes
What It Does

The Wat’bag pouch protects drinkable water from the development of bacteria and toxicity in the reused jerrycans.

The Inspiration

According to the professional water scientist Gérard Payen, everyday, 1,8 billion people drink water that can be dangerous for themselves. We got an overview of this during our travel in Togo, as 2nd year students and volunteers for an humanitarian mission about raising awareness about environmental protection. We realised how difficult it was to keep water clean without any bacteria or diseases, especially when people have to store this resource.

During our 4th year of studies, we took the opportunity to work with Doctors Without Borders on water supply. We chose to study the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and especially in Mugunga which is one of the biggest refugee camp in Africa. Despite the distance, we did a lot of researches to understand the refugee’s everyday life and the way the water is transported, distributed, and used. We noticed one main problem there. Despite the fact that the organizations work a lot on giving access to drinkable water, the great number and the bad cleanliness of the jerrycans in which the refugees fill the drinkable water astonished us. And we found out that there were oil, petrol and bacteria inside them. The goal of our project is to keep the water clean without any bacteria or toxicity and protect the health of the refugees.

How It Works

Wat’bag is a mobile and sterile pouch which protects water from bacteria, virus and toxicity of petrol. You insert it into a jerrycan which are often used by refugees and it provides it a second life.
How to use it?
The 1st part is used to contain the water. You insert it into the jerrycan and it deploys during the filling
The 2nd part is screwed on the neck of the jerrycan and wedges the pouch, usefull when you pour the water.
The 3rd part serves to lock the jerrycan.

Wat’bag is an adapted solution to the refugees, as it doesn’t change a lot their habits and helps them being in a good health.

Concerning the Organisations, they can distribute wat’bag pouches to deplaced civilians at the same time as they supply water. The transportation is very simple, as Wat’bag is a small product that can easily be flattened. Moreover, it is very cheap to produce. The cap and other parts are made of chlorure polyvinyl chloride and the pouch is in low density polyethylene, so it has a very good chemical resistance.

The aim of Wat’bag is to show that with a simple, well-thought, and adapted solution, design can have an important impact on a problem that threats million of people.

Stages of Development

Rather than changing the jerrycan itself, which would impact too much the behaviours of the population and make more complex the NGO’s logistic, we chose to find a solution that would easily adapt to the existing elements.

The idea of Wat’bag was inspired by the principle of “Bag in box” usually used for wine. We liked the concept of having one part in another part with distincts functions. The first one is smooth, keeps the properties of the liquid and is antiseptic and the other one is rigid and adapted to the transportation. They are complementary.

Our project was first thought in two parts : the plastic pouch and the cap.
Our first prototypes, showed us that the air had difficulties coming out of the jerrycan during the filling of the fixed pouch. That’s why we chose to separate the cap in 2 parts, the first one is used to fix the pouch to the jerrycan after the filling and the other one to close it.

The last obstacle was among the pouch itself. We changed the way of folding it when you insert it in the jerrycan as it has difficulties developing itself when it was wrapped. After different tests, we chose to fold it in Z. We also improved its shape by removing all the angles of the plastic that would risk accumulating some water and developing bacteria.

And, the good news is that Wat’bag has been selected by Doctors Without Borders to be developed!


We have been selected by Doctors Without Borders to develop a functional prototype.