CANALPY began as an academic exercise with a winter school in December 2017 involving 36 M.Tech. students of CTARA, IIT Bombay and the SCMS College of Engineering to explore ways of rejuvenating the canals of Alleppey by decentralised (non-networked) and nature-based sanitation solutions. This was inspired by the decentralised and participatory solid waste management initiatives from 2012 under the leadership of Alleppey MLA Dr Thomas Isaac. This was followed by a summer school in May 2018 involving 330 students and a winter school in December 2018 with 80 students. Inspired by the scope and relevance of these activities, a series of campaigns to mobilise the efforts of youth and general public of Alappuzha to reclaim the canals evolved.