Ashok Gadgil Recognized by MacArthur Foundation as Top 100 in 100&Change Competition

Featured Faculty: Ashok Gadgil


Professor Ashok Gadgil's work to address arsenic poisoning has been named by the MacArthur Foundation as a Top 100 proposal in the 100&Change competition. The competition's $100 million award will be granted to the single top proposal, which will be announced this fall.

Gadgil's proposal focuses on ending arsenic poisoning for marginalized communities via safe drinking water. Two hundred million historically marginalized people worldwide have no choice but to drink water containing toxic levels of arsenic. Chronic arsenic poisoning has no cure. Consequences include painful disabilities, internal cancers, and death.

To address arsenic poisoning, Gadgil's team has invented and successfully deployed a robust arsenic-removal technology (ElectroChemical Arsenic Remediation, “ECAR”) to provide poor rural communities with safe, affordable drinking water. ECAR is inexpensive and designed to work even under harsh conditions. It allows water to be purified locally in marginalized communities and sold at affordable prices while creating local employment and generating sufficient revenue for sustainable operation and further expansion.

With MacArthur funding, Gadgil would build 1,004 plants in India, the United States, and Nigeria to provide safe drinking water to 4-5 million people. His team's scale-up will demonstrate the financial viability and community engagement needed to cross the adoption tipping point, ending what the World Health Organization has called “the largest mass poisoning in recorded history.”

Watch Professor Gadgil's Video Proposal, "100&Change Ending Arsenic Poisoning."