New Backpack Could Ease Water Carrying Burden for Women and Children

WaterWear backpack
©. Back the Pack

A partnership between a major industrial packaging manufacturer and a group of social entrepreneurs has produced an innovative product - a water-carrying backpack to help transport clean water safely and with less effort. And one of the best parts is that they cost just $10.

In many parts of the world, the water crisis is an in-your-face daily issue, with lots of time and energy spent just providing the basic water needs of a family.

"The burden of water transport can be huge for women and children in developing countries. The average person needs 8 to 15 liters of water per day; a family of six needs up to 90 liters daily. And in Africa, for example, women walk an average of 3.5 miles each day to get water."

And on top of that, the containers used to transport it (usually a repurposed container) may be responsible for contaminating the water because they aren't designed to store potable water.

The solution, courtesy of a partnership between Greif and Impact Economics, is the WaterWear backpack, a sanitary, collapsible, and easier-to-carry container capable of making a big impact on the lives of those affected by the water crisis. 2000 of the WaterWear packs have been distributed in Haiti, with plans to distribute many more throughout the world, both for disaster relief and daily use.

WaterWear backpack
"The WaterWearTM pack is the lowest cost, ergonomically correct way to manually transport water from source to home. It is the first for purpose designed water transport product that is economically viable for developing economies and disaster relief conditions."

The WaterWear packs are capable of holding up to 5 gallons of water, can be carried either on the back or on the head, and stand upright for filling.