U.S. High School Students Building Wells in India

Show Summary - June 7th, 2010


Sharon welcomed the listeners and talked about the importance of water in life and life in water. She said that it is imperative for everyone to realize the importance of water, to drink plenty of water and to carry water with them if they are unsure of a water source. Dehydration, or lack of water, is out of control in our world and causes or contributes to ailments from allergies to obesity.

Guest: Kevin Petrovic

Kevin Petrovic (Plainsboro, NJ), high school student. "Raising funds in a New Jersey high school to drill wells in India."

Kevin is a 17 year old high school student from New Jersey. He is friends with Rujul, who was born in the United States but his parents are from India. Rujul visited India for the first time in seventh grade and was appalled by the lack of running water, wells or good sanitary practices, especially in the villages. Upon his return, he shared this with Kevin, his classmate in New Jersey, noting that a single community well can change many lives for the better.

Sharon noted that a water crisis is always a health crisis and that 1/6 of the world's population lacks satisfactory access to sanitary fresh water. In fact, with water wars and a rapidly growing population, the world is losing ground. Malaria, a water-borne disease, is a major killer in much of the world's moist tropical regions.

Building wells is extremely cost effective. Kevin and Rujul recommend "tube wells" because the water table in India is often very deep (Summers are extremely hot and dry with frequent power outages that cause water pumps to shut off). Tube wells are deep (250 to 500 feet) but narrower in profile, thus increasing the natural pressure. A good tube well can cost as little as $1,000 and provide safe water for 1,000 people (in a country where 200 million people do hot have enough water and 2,000 children a day die because of bad water).

To date, Kevin, Rujul and their "Drinking Water for India" clubs have raised money in 14 New Jersey high schools and have completed two wells. The third and fourth wells will be completed this summer, with 17 projects under consideration.


Categories: Water and sanitation; 2010