Grant #261


September 25, 2017

Quenching a thirst for India’s megacities.

India’s megacities are in a mega water crisis. Rivers are choked with waste, wetlands are disappearing, and local food chains are contaminated. This is especially true for the city of Bangalore, population 8.4 million, home to India’s Silicon Valley.

Bangalore’s urban landscape has exploded over the last decade, so quickly that the infrastructure can’t keep up. Rapid growth, plus annual drought, equals water contamination and scarcity.

Enter our grantee STRAINS (Strategic In-stream Systems). The STRAINS project is kicking off their pilot water intervention in Bangalore, demonstrating the potential impact of simple in-stream urban wastewater remediation strategies. By using terracotta fragments as filtration material, their approach hopes to lower harmful contaminates flowing through the water. It may sound complex, but the reality is that their approach means access to clean water, health, income, and education – especially for women and children.

Luckily, a grand stretches much further in India, meaning this grant will help to purchase many of the raw materials necessary to implement a small-scale “proof of concept.”

The STRAINS project rolls deep, as a collaborative effort working at the intersection of design, public practice and urban ecology. Follow partners ATREE on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; Commonstudio on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; and Jana Urban Space Foundation on Facebook.



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders