This 14-year-old inventor is tackling the water scarcity crisis
“Science is more than just a few planets and ecosystems, but rather a way in which we can help people and the world around us,” shares Mehaa Amirthalingam.
When 14-year-old Mehaa Amirthalingam read about the Cape Town water crisis, she understood just how catastrophic this issue can be. Every function in the human body relies on water and water scarcity has the potential affect every country on the planet. So she decided to do something about it.
“Since toilet flushing consumes the highest amount of water of all our daily routines, I decided to create a robust product that can recycle water from other home appliances (greywater), as well as using freshwater, to save on water consumption,” Mehaa explains of her invention. “After each flush, my device blocks the flow of fresh water into the tank, instead allowing greywater to filter in. This reduces the amount of fresh drinking water wasted on each flush.”
Mehaa named her device “Arya” after Aryabhatta, the first major mathematician and astronomer of ancient India, because it is also the first of its kind. Consumers can retrofit Arya to most existing toilets and Arya does not use electricity. In recognition of her work on Arya, Discovery Education and 3M named Mehaa a 2018 Young Scientist Challenge Finalist.
Ayra is on its way to becoming a household product. Mehaa is working with 3M to “package Arya with filters and tanks.” She plans to partner with water conservation organisations, toilet system manufacturers and investors to bring Arya into homes around the world.
Mehaa’s interest in science began when she attended a STEM fair at her father’s office. “It was then that I realized science is more than just a few planets and ecosystems, but rather a way in which we can help people and the world around us,” she shares. Watch the video above to learn more about Mehaa’s work to address the water scarcity crisis.
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About the VIDEO PRODUCER
Ayesha Shakya is digital content producer at Malala Fund. She loves watching food videos while eating.