Jalkalp Water Filter

An innovative and low-cost safe drinking water solution addressing biological, arsenic, and iron contamination and turbidity.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

S M Sehgal Foundation

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $50k - $100k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 10,000 - 50,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • India

Headquarters location: City

Gurugram, Haryana

Location(s) of impact

District Nuh, Haryana District Samastipur, Bihar



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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Diseases caused due to consumption of contaminated water viz. physical, chemical and biological severely affect the under-privileged rural population as they do not have access to safe water nor they can afford expensive water purifying systems. Lack of safe drinking water negatively affects household economy. Lack of sensitization about contamination and related health issues, coupled with inadequate knowledge of the appropriate solutions further increases the gravity of the issue.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Proposed solution, the Jalkalp water filter, envisages to benefit rural communities by providing a low-cost, sustainable innovative solution for safe drinking water. The technology is replicable and effective against major causes of waterborne diseases and serves the population that cannot afford the high-tech water treatment systems. The solution seeks to eliminate the risk of secondary contamination too. The solution includes sensitization and awareness building, deploying JalKalp water filter, developing entrepreneurship, and advocacy.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

The solution has reached out to over 15,000 users through installation of 2,500 filters. 317 sensitization sessions have been done and over 100 practitioners trained. The effectiveness and efficiency of Jalkalp vis-à-vis RO can be seen across various factors i.e. environmental, cost, and operations and maintenance. On an average the recovery rate of water in a typical RO system is 35 percent whereas it is 100 percent incase of Jalkalp. Water wastage in case of RO is 125,076 litres based on the number of Jalkalp filters installed (2,710 filters, each giving 30 litres of filtered water daily). The high total dissolved salts and presence of synthetic materials have an environmental footprint besides the capital and maintenance cost of RO. Boiling being the other option to treat water also affects the environment as fuel wood is used. Jalkalp ensures better health for rural communities (less medical expenditure, no loss of livelihood) thus helping them come out of poverty trap.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

The project is financially sustainable for three years with funding support from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The cost of production and transportation of one water filter is Rs 3000 and Rs 500 is subsidized for the user at present from the project funding, bringing the cost for the user at Rs 2500. At present Jalkalp has been introduced in four states of India through partnership with local NGOs. Presently, the major percentage of our annual budget to support the implementation of the solution comes from grant funding that will be over in 2019. We are planning to build local social entrepreneurs who will take on community mobilization, sensitization, and installation to address long term sustainability for which we need to raise funds.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

The solution intends to create a mass movement for the prevention of water borne diseases through sensitization and awareness-building and offering poor people a sustainable and affordable solution to access safe water. The project deploys an innovative approach of promoting household-based low-tech system against community-based high-tech system; product innovation having low-cost and easy-to-maintain; and a process innovation where beneficiaries are active investors in their development.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

In 2005, present CAWST CEO Shauna Curry was in India to showcase the biosand filter at one of the international conferences, which I had attended. I was impressed by the filter technology and invited her over to our office. In our meeting, we talked about implementing this in our intervention area, and she agreed to provide us training. After getting the filter mould, we introduced the filters the very next year. Later due to limitations of quality fabrication and transportation of filter to remote villages, we initiated to make an adaptation to the filter and after many experiments, a stainless steel based model suiting local conditions and also light in weight, and durable with better quality controls came through. CAWST also supported us in the process and together with them we now train organizations on available technologies for household water treatment and storage.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Participated in previous CSV Prize competitions

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Iain Church

A great initiative - I particularly like the idea that by using the filter not only are water borne diseases and impurities reduced but that wood consumption is also reduced as water does not have to be boiled. The fact that this approach is easily replicated means that impacts could be felt regionally, nationally and even internationally.