2023 Challenge Winner – Georgia Institute of Technology

Team Members:

Daksh Sehgal – Undergraduate in Computer Science

Yash Gupta – Undergraduate in Computer Science

Vibha Narasayya – Undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering

Krishnav Bose – Undergraduate in Computer Science

School:   Georgia Institute of Technology

Challenge:   Sustainable and Resilient

Problem Definition: The objective of this challenge is to develop novel technical solutions to improve the resilience and sustainability of the built environment and identify ways for each proposed solution to enable underserved communities to adapt, persist, and recover from extreme weather and persistent stress, such as those caused by climate change.

Project Title: An Inquiry into Rainwater Harvesting for the Supplementation of Water Infrastructure During Times of Crisis​ 

Solution: Water crises are an issue that can cause great damage to infrastructure that is then difficult to repair. Due to climate change, crises like these have become more common in the United States and are disproportionately affecting people of color (POC) and low-income communities. Our team has set out to solve this issue using Jackson, Mississippi, a predominately POC and low-income city that is highly affected by water crises as a case study. We developed a solution that uses rainwater collection cisterns that are installed in low-income households, using a public initiative to make our solution accessible to low-income communities. Another aspect of our issue we set out to solve is the public stigma associated with the quality of rainwater, which we aim to fix with social campaigns to present the benefits of rainwater harvesting systems and its safety. For our study design, we use a Randomized Control Design, in which we test whether rainwater capture systems can reduce public water supply consumption and reduce home water costs in low-income households.