- 2013 People's Design Award | Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (link)
- 2012 Best of What's New, 25th Anniversary | Popular Science (link)
Press & Media Coverage
- One Company's Opportunity to Serve | Huffington Post (link)
- Serving Peoples Needs in Disaster Situations | Emerald Planet (link)
- Can This New Backpack Solve The World's Water Woes? | Fast Company (link)
What is the PackH2O water backpack and why is it needed?
What exactly is the PackH2O water backpack? | What is the “Achilles’ heel” of the global water crisis? | Where are PackH2O backpacks in use? | How is PackH2O delivered to water-stressed regions or after a disaster? | How does the PackH2O create economic opportunities for women in developing economies?
Specifics about the PackH2O water backpack
What is PackH2O made of? | How much water can the PackH20 hold? | Where is PackH2O produced? | How long will a PackH2O water backpack last? | How does the PackH2O help keep water clean? | Can PackH2O be cleaned inside?
How do I get PackH2O to those in need?
I work with a relief agency or foundation. How do we partner with PackH2O? | Which NGOs and foundations do you partner with? | What happens when I buy a PackH2O water backpack? | Can I pick the country where my PackH2O will be sent? | Is my giving tax-deductible? | How can I get involved other than making a contribution?
About the PackH2O organization
The “aha” moment that inspired the PackH2O water backpack. | Is PackH2O a non-profit organization? | What is the PackH2O Mission?
What exactly is the PackH2O water backpack?
PackH2O is a low-cost, durable and efficient human water transport tool, designed to ease the burden of carrying water home and to help keep water cleaner rather than using jerry cans or buckets. It is engineered to relieve the physical burden, including spinal pain and injuries that often result from carrying water in buckets on head. Instead of straining the wearer’s head and neck, it evenly distributes weight on the back, hands-free. The removable liners are easily sanitized through exposure to sunlight (SODIS – solar disinfectant) .
What is the “Achilles’ heel” of the global water crisis?
Women and children in developing nations who must carry household water typically use dirty buckets or jerry cans that originally held fuel and pesticides. The laudable effort to invest in wells and water purification systems can be seriously undermined when clean water is carried in dirty, hazardous containers. A test of jerry cans being used by Haitians to carry water found more than 90% were contaminated with E.Coli; more than 70% previously held oil and other toxic chemicals.
Where are PackH2O backpacks in use?
Currently in Haiti, Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Niger including remote areas of those countries. We welcome the opportunity to work with other partners, including NGOs and foundations, in any location in the world where people struggle to get clean water from access point to home - everyday.
How is PackH2O delivered to water-stressed regions or after a disaster?
Our manufacturing partner, Greif, works with NGOs, its own distribution infrastructure and a network of logistics partners to efficiently ship to markets anywhere in the world. When empty, the PackH2O is collapsible and 7x lighter and smaller than the average jerry can. That means it is low cost to ship, store and is ideal to pre-position for emergency relief.
How does PackH2O create economic opportunities for women in developing economies?
PackH2O is an efficient, low cost, durable tool that is part of a new sustainable economic model, where business innovation alleviates a humanitarian issue and simultaneously creates sustainable livelihood opportunities. PackH2O was designed so that it can be assembled in areas where it is needed. In Guatemala today, women are becoming micro-entrepreneurs by selling and repairing PackH2Os in their communities.
By making household water transport more efficient, PackH2O also gives women more time for other endeavors. More than 70% of PackH2O users in Haiti said they were able to carry more water in a single trip than before; 100% said the packs were comfortable and that they would continue to use them and be likely to buy them.
What is PackH2O made of?
PackH2O is made of a flexible polyethylene material that is tough and puncture-resistant. Independent scientific studies, conducted by Battelle, prior to large-scale distribution found PackH2O to be strong, durable and safe.
How much water can the PackH20 hold?
PackH2O is designed to carry and store up to 5 gallons, or 20 liters, of clean water – enough for daily household use in developing economies. The inner liner can be removed so that it can be sanitized in the sun.
Where is PackH2O produced?
Our partner, Greif, has a manufacturing and distribution infrastructure in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South American, within reach of most of the world’s water-stressed regions and known disaster areas. PackH2O is designed so that it can be assembled in communities where it is needed, providing micro business opportunities to women in developing economies.
How long will a PackH2O water backpack last?
Field tests show that the PackH2O is a durable, low-cost, efficient alternative to jerry cans and buckets. When cared for properly, the water backpack will last 18-24 months; the liner will last 12-18 months.
Assembly and replacement of the PackH2O can create micro-entrepreneurial opportunities for women in developing economies.
How does the PackH2O help keep water clean? Can PackH2O be cleaned inside?
Yes, the PackH2O was designed to help keep water clean. The interior lining can be removed. An independent study by Battelle shows that when the liner is placed in the sun for 60-90 minutes, more than 99% of pathogens and germs are eradicated. Detergents are not needed nor recommended.
I work with a relief agency or foundation. How do we partner with PackH2O?
We work with some of the world’s leading relief agencies and nonprofits. Through our partnership with leading industrial packager Greif, we have access to global manufacturing and distribution capabilities. To learn more about PackH2O use for disaster relief, for alleviating humanitarian uses in water-stressed regions or to develop sustainable livelihood opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs, contact Us at Info@PackH2O.com or (614) 794-2732.
Which foundations and non-profits do you partner with?
PackH2O partners with leading foundations and NGOs that provide disaster relief, work to alleviate suffering due to the global water crisis or create sustainable economic opportunities for women in developing economies. Our current non-profit partners include the Habitat for Humanity International, Operation Blessing International, Partners in Health, CXCatalysts and Partners for Care. Learn more about our partners or how to become one here.
What happens when I buy a PackH2O backpack?
Upon purchasing a pack, you will not only be providing a personal water transport device to someone in need but also making a contribution to the work of our partner NGOs, who will carry out the mission of ensuring packs are delivered to those in need.
Can I pick the country where I will give the PackH2O backpack?
Website contributions go towards the goal of whichever NGO you choose. Our NGO partners are experts at identifying the greatest needs. If you have suggestions on areas in need or organizations to work with, contact us at info@PackH2O.com
Is my giving tax-deductible?
PackH2O cannot issue a tax receipt. However, if you make a donation through one of our partner’s websites specifically tied to the PackH2O initiative, your donation will be 100% tax deductible
How can I get involved other than making a contribution?
Support is not limited to making a contribution towards a pack. Tell your friends about our initiative. Create a team. Blog about us. Spread the word. Your voice can speak volumes.
The “aha” moment that inspired the PackH2O water backpack
After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, leading industrial packager Grief was among the first companies to commit long-term resources to recovery efforts there. While in Haiti, Greif CEO David Fischer saw women struggling to carry water to their homes, using dirty buckets and contaminated jerry cans. He knew that Greif could apply its business innovation and technical skills to create a solution. The idea was a perfect fit for Greif’s commitment to sustainable development and its belief that business cannot thrive in a society that fails.
Is PackH2O a non-profit organization?
PackH2O is a for-profit, social innovation enterprise. We partner with leading industrial packager Greif, NGOs and foundations to get the water backpack in the hands of people who struggle every day to bring water home. We reinvest money into building partnerships with NGOs and foundations to help people living in water-stressed environments.
What is the mission of PackH2O?
To alleviate the Achilles’ heel of the global water crisis and put a PackH2O into the hands of women who live in areas where getting clean water home is a daily struggle.