Student-Designed Water Bottle Cap Cuts Tap Water Waste

There is an ever-dwindling something that Earth depends on for its very existence. That something serves as the building blocks for life and allows sustenance to flourish. What ever-so-important something is pulled from a tap, frothing and clean(ish) at one end of the spectrum while at the other end, finding even a dirty puddle to imbibe from is a brutal struggle?

Ah, yes. Water! The lifeblood of our small world. Without it, we would be but dried husks of our former, moist selves ... and yet, we don't respect this limited resource nearly as much as we should. Just consider that in 2016, a two-person household in the U.K. uses about 72 gallons of water a day. Those gallons quickly add up, from washing your hands after a trip to the bathroom to a watering session in the garden, resulting in a large quantity of water used by day's end.With nearly 98% of all water on Earth not fit for human consumption, how can we possibly afford to keep frivolously using it?
Five students, four from VCU Brandcenter and one  from San Diego City College, have taken the first of many small steps soon to be carried out against water waste with their project, "Cap the Tap." Hellbent on making a difference, the team designed a utility water bottle cap that consumers can attach to any residential or business tap once they've finished their bottled water.

In this scenario, rather than recycling the water bottle whole, the cap is saved. Once attached to the tap, the cap will increase water pressure and reduce average flow. By simply reducing the flow, from 2.2 to 1.5 gallons per minute, water waste is is reduced by 33%.

"A campaign to end water waste," is broadcasted loud and clear on the project microsite. In order to spread their message, and pitch the ingenious invention to Dasani, a social media campaign was devised (#capthetap). According to Yelena Sophia's website, Junior Art Director for Cap the Tap, it was important to take into account the healthy rivalry between Northern California and Southern California, Norcal and Socal respectively. A visualization of social was promised on the microsite, using Twitter API.
The cap has won the hardworking group Best of Show in the student category of Adweek's Project Issac Awards. Winning entrants must submit an innovative invention, product, or concept that creates new possibilities in an accepted field: media, advertising, marketing, or technology.

According to their article covering the caps, the average American household uses 27 gallons per day from facets alone; the specially-designed cap "could mean a savings of 9 gallons per day - or 3,285 gallons a year." If every Californian home had these funky green caps installed on their taps, 7 billion gallons of water could potentially be saved per year.

A large number of countries, affecting over 4 billion people, experience water scarcity for at least one month out of the year. Whether physical or economic, the problem cannot be understated. Currently, California is experiencing the worst drought in 1,000 years. Cap the Tap is a proposed solution to the problem. The utility caps serve as a solution and reminder in one; enlightening consumers about the dire situation while simultaneously prompting them into action with little effort (install the cap and you're done!).

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