Water Friendliness Index @ Hack4Climate

Where water management meets Distributed Ledger Technology

Background

Companies use water (directly or indirectly) while creating products. Profit earned from those goods and services is mainly reinvested to make more money, not to make the company environment friendly, unless regulation demands it.

In some regions, with weaker/hard-to-implement regulations or smaller, probabilistic fines for defaulting, some companies may skip treating the water altogether before discharging it.

Another set of companies help the above companies reuse and treat water before throwing it into waste streams that end up in the ground water or the ocean. Here too, economics and regulation are driving forces, not the environment itself.

The data on quality, utilization and treatment of water is not open sourced yet, we want to put it out there as it enables:

  • Identification of areas of improvement for water utilization
  • Standardization and bench-marking of the treatment solutions
  • Giving a holistic picture of water as a resource with more powerful analytic tools from the community to narrow down on defaulters

Now to ensure that companies comply, we need to give them incentives. 
Here are two ways we incorporated in our framework:

1. Acting as a digital consultant and system integrator
Reconcile, analyze and score Company & Treatment Solution Provider data around water usage to suggest end-to-end solutions/improvements that provide environmental and economic benefits.

Then, speed up the trial and deployment process through standardized, technically defined smart contracts rather than several rounds of negotiation, paper work and money transfer delays etc.

2. An investment channel
Allow people to invest in tokens (think crypto-shares) of the company using crypto-currency. The value of the tokens of each company improve with its water friendliness score, currently ranked on its water usage efficiency. These tokens, once issued by companies, can be traded further on the exchange itself, based on their current value rather than demand/supply. Alternatively, once utilities are onboard, tokens can be used to pay bills as well.

The money thus obtained by the company would be used to fund the improvements in water utilization and treatment, which will be tracked through changes in its Water Friendliness score.

This platform, enabling crypto-investment (overcoming the barriers of geography, banking and legal delays) and transparent industrial water utilization for environmental upliftment, is what we call the Water Friendliness Index.


Who wins? Everyone.

Companies get funds, consultancy and better PR to improve their water friendliness quickly and seamlessly. They can also show the water impact of their entire supply chain and factor it as a water price (similar to carbon pricing).

Treatment service providers get visibility, rankings, more business and better profit margins with reduced number of middlemen. It would be possible to determine how the reverse osmosis system of company A fares compared to a similar system by start-up B for a given input water stream.

Regulators get holistic, real-time data reports and a reduced workload as more companies opt for tailored solutions. They also get help on finding defaulters through advanced analytic tools from the community on open data.

You and I; we get a better environment, a chance to create an impact and earn while doing so.


Bringing it all together: Hack4Climate

The first global hackathon connecting Distributed Ledger Technology & Climate Change in collaboration with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) at Bonn, Germany.

100 hackers and climate experts from all over the world gathered on a boat, “The Fiji”, to come up with 21 unique solutions addressing different aspects of energy management, identification and tracking of emissions, transport, land use and carbon pricing (or anything goes).

‘The Fiji’ was representative of the fact that small island states are the first to bear the brunt of climate change, and hence are most willing to do everything it takes to control it.

“The Fiji”

Special thanks to Nick Beglinger and team for pulling off what seemed like an impossible, yet life changing, event. We will continue to hack for climate!


The Team

  • Ashay Tejwani, a Materials Science Engineer from India
  • Daniel Pollithy, a Backend Developer from Germany
  • Neha Mittal, an Information Management Student from UC Berkeley
  • Simona I., a Physicist & Computer programmer from Imperial College London
From left to Right: Ashay, Simonetta, Neha and Daniel

Do reach our with thoughts, feedback and suggestions to improve this concept and move towards a water friendly future.