Xiaoyuan Ren (right) has developed a data platform that tests and records the quality of groundwater across a thousand villages in rural China.

Young Champions of the Earth: mapping clean water in China

UNEP
Xiaoyuan Ren (right) has developed a data platform that tests and records the quality of groundwater across a thousand villages in rural China.

Young Champions of the Earth: mapping clean water in China

Climate and Environment

A mobile app which tells the inhabitants of rural China if their water is safe to drink, has won a young woman from Beijing a top UN environmental award.

Xiaoyuan Ren has been recognized as a United Nations Environment Programme’s Young Champion of the Earth for 2020.
Xiaoyuan Ren has been recognized as a UNEP’s Young Champion of the Earth for 2020. UNEP

Xiaoyuan Ren has developed MyH2O, a data platform that provides information about the quality of groundwater in villages across the country, so residents know where to find clean water to stay healthy.

Her research suggests that around 40 per cent of those people had concerns about their drinking water but no ability to test it.

An army of volunteers travelled to around a thousand villages in 26 Chinese provinces to test water quality and then log the results in the app. MyH2O also suggests ways to purify contaminated drinking water.

Xiaoyuan Ren is one of seven innovators recognized as United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Young Champions of the Earth for 2020.

Data for clean water in China - XIAOYUAN REN - Young Champion of the Earth 2020 for Asia/Pacific