We have been testing how filtered rainwater could be used to keep windscreens clean – an idea that pre-teen siblings Daniel and Lara Krohn stumbled upon during a family road trip.
When the heavens opened, their dad Gerd, who was driving, tried to clear away the smears, but the reservoir was empty – and the windscreen just got dirtier and dirtier.
“It was a downpour. My sister and I thought that it was really funny that there was water everywhere – except for the windscreen wipers. Then the answer suddenly seemed obvious. Simply reuse the rainwater,” said 11-year-old Daniel.
Together with his nine-year-old sister, Daniel tested the idea by taking apart their old toy fire engine, fixing the pump to a model car, putting it inside an aquarium and adding a filter. That was enough to win first prize in a local science competition in Germany – and for us to develop the prototype for a full-sized test car.
“Daniel and Lara’s idea has been staring drivers in the face for decades – and it has taken one moment of ingenuity to bring it to life. In less than five minutes of rainfall the washer reservoir is completely full,” said Theo Geuecke, who worked on the project for us.
The system could one day help save billions of litres of water.
“What a brilliant idea! Innovations like these are essential to make the water we have go further. We will all need to change our behaviour to waste less water, but we’ll also need clever new bits of kit like the one Daniel and Lara have designed,” said Nicci Russell, managing director, Waterwise.