Because every drop counts.
From our Domain Space and Requirements Gathering Report, our team confirmed that because of the continuous physical and chemical pollution of the White River, the overall water quality in Indianapolis is facing a potential crisis. Using and drinking the contaminated water can negatively impact the health conditions and recreational activities of residents in the city.
Moreover, it is notable that the main source of physical pollution comes from people's daily discarded garbage, and the main source of chemical pollution derives from untreated agriculture and industrial waste. All of these are man-made and most of them are making a large impact in the ecosystem and the purity of the water.
Thus, our team decided to design a social interactive product, which could present the current water quality situation, relevant knowledge and potential hazards from water pollution to Indianapolis residents. The goal of this product is for educating and encouraging citizens to positively maintain the water quality and change their habits. Compared to coercion or punishment tactics that have attempted to be used through other products on the market, we have found that this spontaneous driving force is more effective to prevent and reduce the pollutants produced and flow into the White River.
The system that our team has designed is a water kiosk that features a touchscreen for users to interact with and they can also pour their water into the system to receive information on the pollutants in the water.
- Water Quality: Water quality is a core issue, which our team would like to solve. According to recent report, there are nine contaminants currently found in the potable water (Bowman, 2017). While this amount is over the level of what scientists believe is safe, it didn’t exceed the legal standards set by the Safe Water Drinking Act. Through the detection feature in our design, users are able to check the quality of water whether they drink or cook with it in order to protect their health.
- Water Quantity: Global warming impacts our environment including water quality which affects the amount of potable water. That is to say, more contaminated water means less useable water for people to consume. Possible ways to combat this issue is to reduce water waste and to recycle trash (Denchak, 2017). With our design, the water kiosk tells the user what things in their trash bags should go to recycle center and how environment is affected by the trash the user is throwing away.
- Education: Three out of five interviewees mentioned people need to be better educated in regards to water quality and water scarcity. For example, if people keep wasting water without knowledge of the water scarcity issue Indianapolis is likely to face, it will be too late to fix the problem. Through our design, users can understand the quality of water they drink everyday, learn how to be active by recycling trash in order to reduce the impact on our environment, and most importantly interact and collaborate with their neighbors. By interacting with other individuals the user has the freedom to share their knowledge of how to protect the water resources and how to increase the awareness of water issues through social change and empowerment.
Bowman, S. (2017, July 26). Contaminants in Indy water raise some concern, new report shows. Retrieved October 30, 2017, from https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2017/07/26/contaminants-indy-water-raise-some-concern-new-report-shows/508864001/
Denchak, M. (2017, July 17). How You Can Stop Global Warming. Retrieved November 9, 2017, from https://www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming