Water Innovation Lab


About the Program

WIL India is designed to support and build the skills of 40 young water leaders (focused on those aged 20-35).  It will achieve breakthrough, system-shifting innovations through the transformation of individual and collective patterns of seeing, thinking and acting.

Why India?

In the 21st century, water will be the marker of how countries flourish or fail.

India is facing tremendous existing and escalating water challenges:

  • Insufficient water per person as a result of population growth. A country is considered water-stressed if it has less than 1,700 cubic meters per person per year. India has only 1,000 cubic meters of water per person per year.
  • Poor drinking water quality and limited access to high quality water.
  • Insufficient water resources have led to increased competition between sectors: industry, agriculture, energy, and domestic areas.
  • Climate change is affecting water courses, extreme flooding and extreme drought, and lower water tables across the nation.
  • Lack of adequate water treatment for water discharged from industrial, agricultural, resource development, and human settlements

Program Components

WIL India involves 4 components:


Field Tours

An opportunity to experience and observe water projects and challenges first hand in the regions of Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Udaipur.


Collective “Challenge” Projects

Current water problems, innovation gaps, and community input will be the catalyst to form new project/company ideas that will be worked on throughout the program with peers & mentors.


Knlowedge Sharing

In depth discussions shared knowledge across research areas and/or water interest areas, considering scenarios and factors for India’s water future in the next 40 years.


Skill Development

WIL India focuses onLeadership Development, Capacity Building, and Facilitation Training to support participants in becoming innovators in the field.

Challenge Projects

All accepted applicants will receive a selection of challenge projects that will assist directly with their WIL India learning experience. These topics are:

  • Water Scarcity: water use and conservation
  • Groundwater extraction
  • Impact of industry on water resources
  • Urban water quality and access in Mumbai
  • Climate change impacts on agriculture
  • Interface of traditional water wisdom and modern water technology
  • Making water technology more accessible: frugal innovations and water financing