PackH2O: A Collapsible Backpack for Transporting Water in the Third World
While most of us can expect an endless supply of water at the twist of the faucet, 1.2 billion people in the developing world aren’t nearly as lucky. In Africa alone, women and children spend 40 billion hours every year collecting water in jerrycans and drums that once contained fuel, pesticides, and other hazardous chemicals.
As the Ohio-based manufacturer of many of these industrial containers, Greif decided to offer a contaminant-free alternative. Together with Impact Economics, a think tank founded by the OnexOne Foundation’s Joey Adler, Greif created the WaterWear backpack as a hands-free way for people to safely transport gallons of potable water.
Greif claims that WaterWear is the world’s first purposed-designed water-transport product that is economically viable for both developing economies and disaster relief.
Each backpack holds up to 20 liters (5 gallons) of water at full capacity, yet it easily collapses when empty for ease of handling and storage.
Constructed from industrial-grade woven polypropylene, which has the added advantage of being recyclable, the WaterWear is designed for the “best combination of strength, weight, and cost,” according to its maker.
In addition to an ergonomic design that takes the load off the upper back and onto the lumbar and pelvis, the backpack also features a base that allows it to stand on its own while water is pumped into it or dispensed from the attached nozzle.
Plus, a roll-top closure allows easy access to the plastic liner, which can be removed for cleaning.
A member of the Clinton Global Initiative’s water action network, Greif aims to raise enough money to fund 100,000 backpacks by September.