In rural China, drinking a glass of water isn’t a certainty. About 50% of the country’s shallow groundwater is polluted due to agricultural runoff and chemical waste from factories. But thanks to Xiaoyuan “Charlene” Ren it is now easier to know if the water is drinkable or not.
2015 Ren launched MyH2O, a network and platform that addresses the root causes of deteriorating water quality and, at the same time, protects water resources in underprivileged communities.
Then, how does MyH2O work? Well, it’s a platform and database which includes a mobile phone app. The platform relies on a nationwide network of youth volunteers trained to test the water quality. When the volunteers have done tests they log the results into the interactive platform so the app users can know if their water is drinkable or not. In other words, the easy to use app gives villagers/users up-to-date information about water quality.
Xiaoyuan Ren at 29 years of age, has dual master’s degrees in environmental engineering and technology and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States of America. She aims to bring change for future generations:
“If we want to solve environmental issues, we have to start at the village level. We aim to serve our communities and bring change for future generations, helping them understand the big environmental challenges we face, but also that solutions are within the reach of each of us.”
Seeing young people attempting to change the world, will hopefully inspire others to try and do the same. Also, showing that everyone can do something to change the world and that solutions are within reach for everyone, might make the future come sooner.