Splash brings clean water, hygiene education, and improved sanitation to children living in urban poverty. Catalytic funding from the Autodesk Foundation helped Splash build a proof of concept for handwashing and drinking stations produced at scale, which led to $1.6 million in follow-on funding to bring new and improved versions of the product to market. There are now three Splash station designs for a range of different use cases.
Access to clean water is foundational to health and well-being, and without it, millions of people are exposed to preventable, often fatal illnesses. US nonprofit organization Splash designs child-focused water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions for some of the world’s biggest cities in South Asia and East Africa.
Handwashing and drinking stations around the world are often costly to install, difficult to maintain, and overlook community needs. Splash’s first handwashing and drinking station designs followed the norm—all were made from concrete, tile, and, later, fiberglass, which could not be produced at a large scale or with consistent quality. Concrete and tile, in particular, are notoriously difficult to maintain.
Splash and the Autodesk Foundation collaborated to scale a design-forward, replicable WASH solution by combining Splash’s knowledge of handwashing and drinking stations with the Autodesk Foundation’s philanthropic funding and design and engineering expertise.
— Beth Oppenheim, Chief Partnerships Officer, Splash
From 2017 to 2021, Splash received funding to create and manufacture transformative stations for the WASH sector. This has resulted in the design of both a plastic handwashing and drinking station in just one year, mass manufacturing and deployment of 6,150 handwashing and drinking stations for schools in Kolkata and Addis Ababa, and an established social enterprise model to eventually scale distribution.
To date, Splash has installed 6,150 handwashing and drinking stations, reaching 663,000 children across two cities in Ethiopia—Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa—as well as Kolkata, India. Early-stage, catalytic funding from the Autodesk Foundation allowed Splash to build its proof of concept of a scalable WASH solution, which was key to Splash’s 2020 fundraising round of $1.6 million USD.
With this new capital, Splash designed a new handwashing product for COVID-19 response that is more applicable to institutional settings like health care facilities and community centers. One of the major features of the new station is its touchless taps, which are activated by foot pedals instead of metal taps that need to be turned off and on manually. This solves a key problem with most handwashing stations—hand-operated taps break easily and are more prone to contamination.
Now that Splash has proven it can design, create, mass manufacture, and sell an affordable, design-forward WASH solution with consistent funding, it’s ready to repeat the process to address the myriad needs of the WASH sector.
Globally, with 1.8 billion people lacking access to clean water, and 2.5 billion people lacking access to improved sanitation, there is still a long way to go for the WASH sector and to achieve the sixth UN Sustainable Development Goal: ensure clean water and sanitation for all.
Together, Splash and the Autodesk Foundation have proven that innovative, design-forward solutions are not only possible but scalable with the right combination of funding and expertise. As of early 2023, Splash has reached one million children globally and is excited to further scale the reach of its durable, cost-efficient handwashing and drinking stations.
The Autodesk Foundation provided a grant of $100,000 and a software donation allowing Splash to launch the design process for improved handwashing and drinking stations. In 2018, a renewal grant of $150,000 and an Autodesk impact intern enabled Splash to finalize the designs and molds for plastic, rotationally molded handwashing and drinking stations.
The Autodesk Foundation provided a $200,000 renewal grant where Splash began production of the updated handwashing and drinking stations. In 2020, Autodesk technical training and pro bono consulting support enabled Splash’s team to onboard two new manufacturers remotely. This propelled Splash to manufacture 3,600 handwashing and drinking stations. That same year, Splash launched and met its $1.6 million fundraising round to reach nearly 1 million children with WASH solutions by 2023.
The Autodesk Foundation awarded Splash a $300,000 grant and provided pro bono consulting on the WASH station installation manual, supporting them in the design and distribution of handwashing stations for institutional settings.
In 2022, the Autodesk Foundation awarded Splash a $200,000 grant to help bring its newest handwashing station design from concept to reality. Splash also used the funds to manufacture stations locally in Ethiopia, its largest country of operations. The Autodesk Foundation also provided valuable opportunities for the professional development of Splash’s staff in Ethiopia—from software training on AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Autodesk Construction Cloud, and InfoWater to leadership development and engineering programs.
Read more case studies to see how our portfolio uses Autodesk Foundation financial capital and Autodesk in-kind resources to scale industry-transforming innovation.