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AguaClara: Clean Drinking Water Systems

AguaClara, a clean drinking water technology system developed at Cornell University and supported by TCI, is currently being piloted in the Jharkand Villages of Gufu and Ronhe. The technology comprises of a filtration unit for removing suspended matter and a chemical dosing unit for removing fecal contamination that releases an precision dose of chlorine in the water, making it safe for drinking and cooking. The use of solar-powered pumps allows water to move from lowland wells to an elevated tank in the village and then into village homes without electricity or dependency on fossil fuels.

Aguaclara System

Ensuring successful and local operation

Working with the local Indian non-governmental development organization PRADAN, AguaClara hopes to demonstrate that these technologies can be owned, operated and maintained independently in Indian villages. Operators are trained to reliably run the treatment system so that tap water is always safe to drink in the village. In 2015, we hope to show that the system can be maintained through an affordable tariff paid by every household.


The supply of clean water and sanitation in India continue to be inadequate, despite longstanding efforts by various levels of government to improve the access and affordability of safe drinking water. Clean water is directly associated with adequate nutrition; intestinal inflammation and infection due to drinking water contaminated with worms, parasites, viruses and bacteria can lead to partial or complete malabsorption of essential nutrients and calories, in addition to life-threatening dehydration.

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Our partner: AguaClara

AguaClara is a multidisciplinary program at Cornell University dedicated to creating high-reliability, low-cost solutions to global water problems. In India and around the world, AguaClara designs plants that are gravity-powered, electricity-free, and scalable to fit the needs and size of any community. AguaClara’s governance model is based on community ownership, democratic governance, and technology that is specifically designed for ease of operation and to encourage pride in ownership. They build implementation partner capacity and encourage the formation of a network of implementation partners that will share best practices for sustainable implementation.