Did you know that in Europe, we use in total almost 6 billion litres of water for nothing but topping up the windscreen washer in our vehicles? Two young Germans had the bright idea of creating a device to collect rainwater, to fill the windscreen washer tank in their parents’ car!
Daniel and Lara Krohn, two German children aged 11 and 9, have become internet stars following the publication of a YouTube video on the 21st March 2018 (see below). It all started when their father tried to clean the windscreen of the family car after heavy rain. Unfortunately, the tank was empty and the wipers could not effectively do their job. Worse again, they only served to add to the dirt.
The situation was a source of inspiration for the two children, who came up with the idea of a reservoir that could collect rainwater, and that this water could afterwards be used to clean the windscreen. It appears that nobody had ever before come up with such an idea!
“It’s hard to believe that we were the first people to think of it. To test out our idea, we took apart some of our toys that had integrated water circuits, like our fire truck or our aquarium. Then we made a filtration system to clean the water, and it worked perfectly!” said Lara, in an article which appeared in the German press in March.
The young duo won a local science competition, and their invention has been transmitted to American manufacturers Ford, who are taking a closer interest in it.
“Daniel and Lara’s invention has been hidden under drivers’ noses for decades, and it took a stroke of genius on behalf of two children for it to materialise. In less than five minutes of rainfall, the reservoir is completely full“, says Theo Geuecke, an engineer with Ford Europe.
We are becoming increasing aware that water is a limited resource. However, although 20 litres per driver per year doesn’t seem enormous, when multiplied by the number of drivers on European roads, the numbers become astronomical, and more so again if we consider drivers the world over!