Balde a Balde

Water is a fundamental element for human survival and still three billion people live without taps.  Safeagua Peru a Designmatters sponsored trans-disciplinary studio at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, for social innovation, aims to help families in Peru’s slums overcome water scarcity. In a 10-day research trip Kim Chow assessed the water needs of the community and designed Balde a Balde (Spanish for Bucket to Bucket).  This portable faucet provides running water from any container, bringing the health benefits and experience of using a tap to families living

without running water.

Solange Madriz and Kim Chow

The portable faucet can be attached to any container with a universal clip, then starts continuous flow of water with a few squeezes of the siphon pump.  A product designer and an environmental designer are involved in this project.  Unlike other handwashing interventions, this product addresses not just clean hands, but optimizes the full range of water-related tasks performed in the home. By working with existing containers and patterns of use, this product provides running water wherever it is needed. It promotes health by supplying the hygienic benefits of running water, makes hand washing more accessible to children, and allows for exact control of where and how much water is used, to save water


This product is priced to be affordable for people living on $4-10 a day. Available for direct purchase by the end user, it

does not depend on subsidies or donations.  It currently does not have any competitors and

in initial fiel

d tests it

showed to be very easy to use.  The team is currently prototyping different models and contacting other ideas designe

rs such as water filtering to incorporate in this faucet.  An innovative idea that addresses communities’ needs.


Solange Madriz, Global Health Masters Student at the University of California, San Francisco

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