Krisette Santamaria's Portfolio

The Water Scavenger

by Daniel Antonucci, Krisette Santamaria, Liza Tawadrous

 The Water Scavenger is a portable, lightweight water filtration system made of found objects like discarded water bottles, old backpacks and siphon. It blurs the lines between the maker and the user by enabling the water consumer to be their own water supplier. This backpack is a product of a grassroots movement that unites the many diverse communities of Toronto in responding to an unprecedented threat - a water crisis. 


To choose an artifact to use as a base to design meaningful interactions that will help shape your vision of Toronto in 2030.  


The city is growing at a thrilling speed. Immigration continues to fuel population growth. Exciting new technologies are emerging everywhere. As Toronto steps into a new decade, it is met with tremendous opportunities and new challenges. The most unique and significant of these challenges is the water shortage. 

It is the year 2030. The global water crisis the United Nations predicted 12 years ago has become a terrifying reality. The world only has 60% of the water it needs. And for the first time, Toronto faces a water crisis as the water level in Lake Ontario, its main source of fresh water, drops at an unprecedented level.

Water is essential to ecosystemic and human existence. It is also an indispensable, but finite, resource for generating economic wealth and political power. This project looks into how the scarcity of fresh water impacts Toronto’s social and power structures in 2030.

Chosen Artifact

From a global perspective, Canada is very fortunate to have 7% of the world’s renewable fresh water supply considering that it only has 0.5% of Earth’s population. The drinking fountain represents the country’s rich endowment from Mother Nature. 

Exploratory Ideations

These are the various ideations that the group produced during brainstorming sessions. The main concept revolves around the idea of bringing the many different communities of Toronto together by highlighting a common need - water. 

Low Fidelity Prototypes


This model represents the city’s landscape which has been reorganized around the commercial flow of fresh water. This prototype is a three dimensional layout of the 6 districts that Toronto has been divided into. The first 4 districts are assigned exclusively for high income households that receive top priority for the fresh water supply. The 2 remaining districts are designated to low income households that receive low priority.


This is a tool for potential home buyers and real estate agents that allows them to quickly search for properties for that they are eligible to buy based on their income and their ability to purchase fresh water. 


As the high income households are given priority for the supply of fresh water, their faucets and toilets are equipped with this water gauge. This gauge displays the amount of water used and the amount available on the giant screen on the rooftop of their house. This, in turn, informs their low income neighbours how much water they can expect for the week or day. 


This is a portable water filtration unit made of found objects. It is comprised of three detachable parts: the filter and two water containers. It is designed to be light enough to be carried as a backpack.  

Target User

Sam, 27

is a cook who lives and works in Toronto. Because potable water is becoming increasingly expensive, Sam has created her own water filtration backpack made of found objects like plastic soda bottles, a used gas siphon pump and an old water filter. She learned how to make it from her friend at the community centre. She carries the backpack around to collect runoff water around the city. Now, instead of paying a premium for potable, Sam has her created her own water supply. 


Fabrication Process

Final Prototype



Using found objects as its components


Using the water crisis as the driver of innovation, empowering individuals by enabling them to take charge of their own water supply. 


The clear plastic material represents a culture that values sense of community, honesty and mutual trust. 

Using Format