Environment Meet Shreya Ramachandran: This high school senior founded a nonprofit based in California that teaches people how to recycle water in their homes. She’s also shown that the water left after cleaning with soap nuts can be reused to irrigate crops. Shreya Ramachandran, 17, remembers witnessing California’s water crisis firsthand on a visit to Tulare County in 2014, when she was still a preteen. Tulare spans a large swath of farmland in California’s Central Valley, and at that time, locals were facing dire water shortages amid an ongoing drought made worse by climate change. “I was talking to some of the people in the area whose wells completely ran dry, and they were left without water because they weren’t connected to the central water grid. They were trucking water in for even basic needs,” she said. “I was really affected by their stories, and I wanted to do something to help.” The experience spurred Ramachandran, who lives in Fremont, California, to find ways to reuse water from sinks, showers and laundry machines — what’s known as gray water — to help people better cope with intense drought. She has won numerous awards for her research, was named a […]

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