Mason High School alum wins award for raising awareness about global water crisis

Mason High School alum wins award for raising awareness about global water crisis
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 5:10 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2022 at 10:40 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Mason High School alum recently won an award for her efforts to combat the global water crisis.

Laalitya Acharya, 18, won the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes for the project she created called The Nereid Project.

“I created a project called the nereid project which utliizes research, advocacy and policy work in oprder to help raise awareness and mitigate the water crisis. So on the research end I developed this device that you can directly integrate into water systems in order to keep communities aware of the water quality in their area,” Acharya said.

She one of 15 people between the ages of eight to 18 to win the award.

Acharya won $10,000 to go toward either the project or her education. She is a student at Columbia University in New York studying biomedical engineering and political science.

Despite living in the United States most of her life, Acharya has seen first hand how the global water crisis can impact people.

“I’m ethnically South Asian, and on a family trip to India I really saw the glaring water gap,” says Acharya, “There was this lack of access to clean water and despite all the precautions that my family took I still felt ill from drinking this water.”

The Nereid Project is currently being tested in Cincinnati, Morocco and Archarya’s hometown in India. The device uses artificial intelligence to quickly detect unclean water and alert the water system so they can act to fix the issue before it leaves the water plant.

“The second you are able to detect a contaminate you can immediately turn off the water and get something in to fix the issue and then move on with your day,” explains Archarya, “The other thing I would like to implement is a household version as well so that you’re kind of covered on all of your bases.”

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