GRIS water saving system

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GRIS water saving system: A simple tool to collect and reuse all the water you use during a shower

Budapest, HungríaSao Paulo, Brasil
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

GRIS is able to dramatically change water usage behavior on long term in the whole world. It is an extremely low-cost and easy-to-use tool. It collects 95% of the water used during a shower and let you reuse it for toilet-flushing, cleaning, irrigation and other household activities.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we could reuse the water we use in showering, and this way reduce water shortage by 60%!!, in water troubled countries like Brazil, Syria, USA (California), Spain and others ?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

This year South America is facing the biggest water crisis in history. The main reasons are climate change, deforestation and that infrastructure couldn’t keep up with the explosive growth of cities. The water isn’t anymore a question of eco-consciousness but potential source of severe social conflicts. However, today’s household water recycle systems are expensive and complicated – definitely not affordable for people in developing countries.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our solution called 'Gris' is a grid of recipients to be laid on the floor of the bathroom under the shower to collect the water while a person is taking a shower. The collected water can then be reused for other purposes in the bathroom or any other possible use: watering trees, car washing, floor washing up, flushing the toilet. It can collect up to 95% of the water. This means that by going to the shop and investing less than $40 a person can immediately start providing himself reducing water consumption. Gris can save at least 40 liter of water/person/ shower which, in average, a Brazilian family would spare 60.000liter per year - saving of 160USD. Gris is a simple and realistic solution that doesn’t change these people’s daily routine.


In 2014 GRIS won 3 international design awards: 'IF Concept Design Awards' in Germany, A'design award in Italy, and a Special Award in the Hungarian Design Week, and in 2015 Gris won the BraunPrize Sustainability Award in Germany.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A water-user can start reducing his consumption with GRIS in the time it takes to get it from the shop to put it on the floor of his shower while its price will be between $20-60. Its usage doesn’t change their users daily routine while GRIS is as simple as a bucket. It can collect at least 40 liter/person/shower grey-water and reuse it in the bathroom, kitchen etc. In a 4-member family this means 5000 liter/month. If we calculate based on the water fee in Brazil, this is a $15 saving every month. In a period of 4 months Gris will amortize its own cost and within 3 years a family would save $540. An average citizen of Sao Paulo spends 175 liter water/day. WHO recommends 110 liters. Gris can cover 40 liter (60%) of the 65 liter difference!

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

1. Shortage of water is already creating social problems in many regions of the world. We can help with Gris to give hope through a practical solution. Currently, water scarcity affects more than 40% of people in the world, a proportion set to reach two-thirds by 2050. Only 2.8% of the water on our planet is fresh and only 0.01% is in lakes and rivers. 2. Gris can contribute to change water usage behaviour (giving up water misuse custom) in the direction of acquiring a bigger consciousness of the population in this important aspect of life. 3. “Water is an astonishingly complex and subtle force in an economy. It is the single constraint on the expansion of every city, and bankers and corporate executives have cited it as the only natural limit to economic growth.” - World Economic Forum 4. GRIS can reduce the water stress in the world. 5. Less migration to Europe (e.g. from Syria)

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

To impact on the water stress of 4 billion people estimated by 2025 our growth strategy is both spread geographically and expand our product offering and also to build a community over the world of the people affected in water scarcity. We recognize that the potential market for GRIS is not only the developing countries with water scarcity but the environmentally conscious developed countries as well. Although our target market currently is Brasil, we plan to expand operations to other countries like Colombia, Mexico, USA, and all the other countries affected in water scarcity.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Currently we are working on final test models in order to prepare to manufacture a small series (1000 set) of GRIS during January 2016 and sell it (for $60/set) and test it in Brazil. After that we start working on the tooling and preparing large-scale manufacturing and distribution by July of 2016. We are looking for different grants and competitions that we can win to acquire funds to finance the tooling for the injection molding production.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are thousands of water-recycling-products to lower the water consumption of households since the 1940’s. The problem is that most of them are designed to be optimal and not to be realistic. In most cases users need to rebuild their complete sanitary-system in their house to it. They cannot adopt such an expensive ($1000-15000) and complicated solution. They’ll only adopt one if it doesn’t change their daily routine and as simple as a bucket. However there are different bath accessories like eco flow shower heads with setting on minute flow rate but they cannot collect and reuse water.

Founding Story

Three years ago I moved to Colombia with my wife to visit my parents and spent a year in the little village where they lived in the Andes. During that time I could experience by first-hand how in South-America the dry season became longer and dryer in the last decade, and how it leads today to serious social conflicts too. In many smaller towns and villages similar to where we lived the water network is supplied by local water reservoirs and when there is very few rain, the water resource decreases. I saw how such situations created conflicts (e.g. when farmers hijacked the village's water source) that endangered whole communities,how water scarcity ruined families and neighborhoods.


Behind this innovation, there is a dedicated team with 20 years of combined experience in product design, project management, business development, sales and marketing, production management and logistics. ALBERTO VASQUEZ: project leader (part-time), tasks: project management, Public Relationship, product development: design, engineering, prototyping, testing, monitoring, Qualification: Product Designer at the Moholy Nagy University on the Master of Art program (Industrial Design faculty), CARLOS VASQUEZ: business development manager (part-time), tasks: market strategy, brand building, monitoring, production preparation, Qualification: Systems Engineer at the Lvov Tecnical University (Ucrain), Master of industrial management at EOI Madrid, Spain, EVA VASS: commercial manager (part-time), tasks: market research, risk analysis, planning and controlling, Qualification: Economist at the Lvov University of Economics (Ucrain), PÉTER SÁNDOR BIRÓ: engineering and manufacturing consultant, Qualification: Engineer and Polimer-technologist at the Budapest University of Technology and Emonomics (Hungary), EMESE FORGÁCS: project administrator (part-time), tasks: testing, client administrator, Qualification: Andragogy at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, (Hungary), When we start the large-scale production and as the project grows our team members are going to work full-time and as it will be necessary we will recruit more professionals.