Sonaar Luthra is the creator of Water Canary, a water-testing device that collects real-time water-quality data from the field.

Why you should listen

Sonaar Luthra was a writer and educator when he enrolled in NYU's famed  Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) -- a breeding ground for cross-disciplinary thinking. He tells the TED Blog what happened next:

"I wanted to come up with some way of becoming what I was calling an 'urban planner for the global village.' And ... I fell in love with circuitry and with making tangible objects that had real functionality. Next thing I knew, I found myself in a class called Design for UNICEF, taught by Clay Shirky in association with UNICEF’s Innovations Lab.

"I wanted to see what was possible with water, and I was lucky to have an incredible team and the support of faculty that were willing to take on such a huge challenge. We started off as novices but we all became water experts in the process."

Read the TED Blog's full Q&A with Sonaar Luthra, "Waterwise" >>

What others say

“If you’re doing something worthwhile, chances are you don’t know what you’re doing and nobody can tell you the right way to do it. ” — Sonaar Luthra

Sonaar Luthra’s TED talk

Sonaar Luthra on the TED Blog

Q&A

Waterwise: Fellows Friday with Sonaar Luthra

January 13, 2012

Sonaar Luthra (watch his TED Talk) is packing water-safety analysis and mobile networking into the Water Canary — a handheld, open-source, and easy-to-use gadget accessible to all — hoping to save lives and gather information that will improve global water health. You have a background as a writer, educator and journalist. How did you end […]

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Quotes from Sonaar Luthra

The Water Canary [is] a fast, cheap device that answers an important question: Is this water contaminated?
Sonaar Luthra
TEDGlobal 2011 • 278K views Jan 2012
Ingenious, Informative
We've seen how distributed networks, big data and information can transform society. I think it's time for us to apply them to water.
Sonaar Luthra
TEDGlobal 2011 • 278K views Jan 2012
Ingenious, Informative