Student-designed bottle cap could save drought-stricken California millions of litres of water

The ‘Cap the Tap’ campaign is a simple way to curtail water wastage from household taps.

According to the World Economic Forum, the global water crises is the biggest threat facing our planet over the next decade. With California – the most populous state in the US – in the midst of its worst drought in over 1000 years, five students, four from VCU Brandcenter and one from San Diego City College, have developed an efficient and simple initiative to combat water wastage: the “Cap the Tap” project.

 Dasani bottle cap

Their innovative solution involves a specially designed bottle cap for Dasani water bottles, one of the most widely consumed bottled water brands in the world. Once the water in the bottle has been consumed, its intuitive design allows for the cap to be easily attached to most standard household taps. Designed to increase water pressure within the faucets and reduce the average flow from 8.3 litres to 5.6 litres per minute, usage of the cap could cut household water waste by 33 per cent.

“With ‘Cap the Tap,’ we’re proposing a solution that makes it accessible, actionable and achievable to conserve,” explains project art director Yelena Sophia. “PSAs are inspiring and helpful in keeping conservation top of mind, but offering a solution that allows everyone to participate in water conservation and see the impact of their actions makes a stronger statement and has an immediate impact on people’s lives.”

Most large-scale advertising campaigns encourage consumers to take some form of action whether it’s purchasing a product, changing a mindset, or just believing in something. A fusion of public service and personal action, the ‘Cap the Tap’ project not only focuses on convincing people to care about a cause but also provides a simple way for them to become directly involved, with little to no effort.

While the plastic caps would need to be replaced periodically, customers who choose to employ them are given the option of mailing in 30 green caps to receive a permanent stainless steel one in return – a worthwhile investment when you consider that the cap is estimated to save “roughly $20 million in water and sewage bills and nearly $70 million in energy costs to heat water,” according to the campaign website. 

A solution with the potential to be utilised globally, the innovative cap has already won the design team – made up of students Greg Donnelly, Shannon Smith, Mikaila Weaver, Reginald Wright, and Yelena Sophia – the Gravity Award in the student category of Adweek’s Project Isaac Awards

Dasani bottle cap

Dasani bottle cap