Why is Water Conservation an Urgent Requirement ?

“Recently, the NITI Aayog released a report that highlighted the gravity of India's water situation. The country is facing its worst water crisis in history and if no action is taken to address this, the demand for water would far outstrip its supply by 2030. In fact, even by 2020, it is expected that 21 Indian cities will run out of groundwater.”


“Water pollution is another source of the crisis. All water bodies in India within or near populated areas are contaminated with organic and hazardous pollutants. Due to such pollution levels, not a single Indian city can provide clean tap water throughout the day. Even the groundwater situation is dismal. A lack of proper wastewater treatment that is spewed from domestic and industrial sources has led to progressive contamination of groundwater posing health risks to those who depend upon it for their daily use.”

“Between 2004 and 2011, the groundwater usage escalated from 58 percent to 62 percent and the trends have not changed since. In fact, India now uses more groundwater than China and the US combines. Consequently, the country has witnessed a sharp drop in its water table levels.”

**Source: Economic Times (June 26, 2018)



        The Idea & The Model

Our model- Roof2Roots- was inspired by the idea of ‘jugaad’ that is primarily based on six core principles: seek opportunity in adversity, do more with less, think and act flexibly, keep it simple, include the margin and follow your heart. (Source : Jugaad   Innovation)​

        On our first visit to the Sarvodaya school, we realised that the students lacked awareness about basic water conservation techniques such as rain water harvesting and drip irrigation system.

         On critical examination, we discovered that there was no water conservation technique being used in school to utilise the rainwater and it was simple entering the sewage systems because of a large concrete cover. We also realised that the students did not have access to filtered water and were solely dependent on the municipal water supply.


Materials Used and Scientific Principles

  • Corn Cob: It acts as a filtration candle due to its naturally occurring network of channels. It helps in trapping organic substances thereby purifying the water. Also, its slow degradation property makes it a suitable food substrate for roots.

  • Bark of trees (neem): Their antibacterial property helps in preventing bacterial growth in water. This is because of the high content of tannins in the bark extract. They also provide support for the roots.

  • Moringa seeds: They have antibacterial properties and help in clearing turbidity. So they can be used as a water purifying agent.

  • Charcoal: It helps in trapping toxic elements that may be present in the water sample.

  • Balls of porous clay: They help in trapping organic particles and also provide support to the roots.


Hydrophilic plants with extensive root systems such as Oxalis, English Ivy, Ajwain, Bryophytes (mosses), pteridophytes (ferns), Indian Spinach, etc were used in the initial part of the filtration unit, that is, the pipe system made using single use plastic bottles and shuttlecock. Barks, corn cobs, charcoal, clay balls and pebbles were also placed in this part.

After the dirty water passed the plastic bottle connection, it entered into a 3 layered filtration system of matkas. We made minute holes in the base of the first two matkas and placed sand, dry clay balls coated with tea and coffee ground, bricks, stones and charcoal onto stainless steel meshes used for husking and willowing purposes.

Therefore, the water passed through a series of filters before being stored in the last matka. All the natural elements used in the filtration unit helped in increasing the dissolved oxygen level, decreasing the biological oxygen demand and also in removing the suspended particulate matter. Thus, we obtained high quality and pure water that we used for drinking as well as gardening purposes.

The EdTech Team of Sanskriti School

Coming from a school where water scarcity is not a big issue and effective measures and initiatives to conserve water have been taken by the administration and the environment club, we personally did not truly understand the gravity of the water crisis in Delhi till we visited our partner school- Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Malcha Marg. Through our interactions and discussions, we were exposed to the reality and our empathy fuelled us to collaboratively develop Roof2Roots.

Here's what we have to say....

Members of the EdTech Team:

Paribha Vashist, Anusha Sharma, Gautam Anand, Yastika Guru, Aryan Sharma, Aaron Johnson, Suramya Singh and Vidhu Kota


The Sustainability Committee

To encourage the creative expression of ideas, we conducted poster designing and essay writing competitions in Sanskriti School and Sarvodaya Vidyalaya. The top essays were chosen based on the originality and feasibility of ideas, and the authors were given the position of the school’s sustainability committee. The members of the committee, namely Sourav Mishra, Om Prakash, Pooja Kumari, Jyoti, Ravi Pant, Sushila and Alok, will ensure that they sustain this initiative in their school and interact with their peers and juniors to come up with more innovative and path-breaking solutions.

All of them greatly enjoyed learning from us and we were certainly inspired by their creative expression of ideas using ‘jugaad’. We definitely learned that with a simplistic approach and great willpower, we can transform anything to develop a model of high efficiency. Through the computer labs in their school, they can easily send in their suggestions and queries to us via this website, and through this medium, we hope to stay connected!

Our Message!
Sanskriti School :

Sanskriti School students on our initiative

Sarvodaya Vidyalaya :

Sarvodaya Vidyalaya students on the problems they face and their experience with us


Sarvodaya Vidyalaya teachers on water crisis in Delhi and Roof2Roots


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Hey, if you have any creative ideas and suggestions that you would like to share with us, or even written/ artistic pieces that reflect your concern for depleting water resources, please feel free to mail them to us at: roof.two.roots@gmail.com

If you have any queries, please fill in the details we will get in touch with you!

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