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Transporting Water In The Indian Desert

Client/Funder: Wello
Location: Rajasthan, India
Catapult Service Line: Design
Thematic Area: Mobility & TransportWash


Wello is a social enterprise in India with an ambitious mission to deliver clean water to a thirsty world. Accomplishing this mission requires more than sanitizing water, it requires addressing water access, delivery, and storage. Wello came to Catapult with their WaterWheel, a plastic barrel that rolls along the ground enabling quick and easy water transport for families trekking long distances to collect and haul water to their homes. While the WaterWheel addressed the transportation aspect well, it lacked consideration of the local context and didn’t address the other factors to enable clean water.

To help drive product adoption and sales, Wello needed to tune their WaterWheel to the local market as well as think about how to increase its value proposition in addressing clean water delivery.


Catapult spent the first 30 days of this design challenge in Rajasthan with Wello gleaning water habits, auditing customer needs, documenting local aesthetic and common materials, and meeting with potential partners and manufacturers. Our work included:

  • creating a variety of tools that enabled co-creation activities and input from potential customers; facilitating co-creation sessions with community members
  • developing a variety of life-sized prototypes using locally-sourced materials and resources
  • prototype testing with Wello customers and collecting data on the pros and cons of each
  • revising the prototypes and 3D printed scaled versions of refined designs that would enable Wello to continue feedback sessions with potential customers
  • vetting potential manufacturers and working with them to refine a final prototype according to their capacity


Catapult’s work equipped Wello with new design methods and tools to continue to use in their ongoing work. The prototype we developed with them traveled around the world, helping Wello facilitate conversations with potential funders and partners.

Our experience interacting with manufacturers helped Wello bring its product vision to life. We helped them pilot more than 500 units, an experience that allowed their team to implement a several thousand unit pilot and potential expansion into the East African market.