Billions of people worldwide lack accessibility to fresh water because there is no way to transport it. Atlanta-based Ratio Product Lab has joined the effort to find a creative solution.
The product design and development firm assisted in the further design and development of WaterVest, a wearable vessel that allows an individual to carry up to 32 liters of water per trip.
It’s believed by many that there is an abundance of potable water available. The catch is that there is no way to deliver it to the people who need it. For example, only 16 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa has access to clean drinking water at home while the remaining 84 percent spend an average of six hours per day making multiple trips. That adds up to about 40 billion hours each year retrieving water.
The product may also prove valuable in disaster relief situations that may cut off residents’ access to water or make typical vessels unavailable, such as if they floated away or were contaminated with bacteria.
“Logistics is the key in response to any disaster,” said R. David Paulson, former Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response and Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Getting supplies from where they are to where they’re needed is one of the most challenging tasks to accomplish. Anything that solves the â€˜last mile’ problem will be vital to any disaster response.”
The WaterVest is a lightweight, inexpensive and ergonomically designed vessel that can be used to distribute the weight load. Fill and dispersal mechanisms reduce the risk of cross-contamination of the water while the water’s exposure to sunlight through the transparent plastic material mitigates bacteria growth.
WaterVest is a superior solution to existing water transportation methods thanks to its hands-free design, inexpensive material and production, and self-sealing water sprouts as well as its carrying capacity. It can be used to transport water daily or in the wake of catastrophic events that cut off residents’ access to fresh water.
WaterVest, LLC contracted with Ratio Product Lab to further design and develop its product. Ratio focused on readying the product design for production.
“We were delighted to be part of a small team which could create a solution for so many who live with water insecurity,” said Jim Ferguson, principal of Ratio Product Lab.
The development team worked on refining baffles seals that evenly distribute the water load and prevent counter-balanced shifts. It made adjustments that let the device fit the greatest range of users and made it intuitive and easy for anyone to use.
Other steps taken including optimizing the size of the product and material thickness will help with cost and shipping efficiency.
“Delivering anything in a remote location is difficult enough,” said WaterVest team leader Ben Fox. “We knew we needed to supply a vessel compact enough to serve as many people as possible with every deployment.”
WaterVest, LLC is currently seeking crowd-funding to cover the cost of further test deployments and to assist with preliminary production costs and inventory.
More information on WaterVest including a link to donate is available at http://watervest.org
About Ratio Product Lab
Ratio Product Lab is an Atlanta-based product development, product design, manufacturing, consulting and engineering firm. It specializes in the design for manufacture of consumer, commercial and industrial products. The firm’s creative designers and problem solvers strive to take concepts and develop them into quality-end products.
For more information, visit its website at https://www.ratio.com or call 678-772-7136.
About the WaterVest Team
The WaterVest Team, with its senior staff and personnel, are worldwide experts and leaders in the application of innovation, initiative, and aggressive creativity. Members of the team have supported FEMA, the World Health Organization and various other groups in assessment and deployment of technologies for solving strategic problems ranging from counter-terrorism to infectious disease.
The WaterVest team has had extensive experience in the design, support, and analysis of acquisition programs, as well as program implementation. Further, they have specialized in the development and transition of innovative technical solutions to complex problems, primarily in the national security space.