In 2010, the United Nations established access to safe drinking water as a basic human right; however, many areas around the globe still lack access. The interdisciplinary service-learning course “Water Supply in Developing Countries” was established at Purdue in 2012 to address the complex issue of water insecurity around the world. Over the past five years, the course has produced teams involving students from nursing, engineering, agricultural economics, biology, and food science working together to develop sustainable, community-scale drinking water treatment systems. In partnership with Aqua Clara International, the student team in 2017 established a drinking water treatment system at the Ana Julia Diaz Luna primary school in the rural community of Las Cañas, Dominican Republic. In addition to the focus on a physical water system, they also collaborated with local educators to design a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education program. Students guided development of sustainable economic strategies to utilize the system for generation of revenue to reinvest in maintenance and improvements. The observations and lessons learned from the completed stages of this project have been applied to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of subsequent interventions.
Alwang, Albert; Busse, Margaret; Caprio, Audrey; Fenton, Marieke; Hawes, Jason; Kanach, Andrew; and McElfresh-Sutton, Autumn
"Water Supply in Developing Countries: Student Experiences in the Dominican Republic,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 4
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol4/iss1/7