Creation of a Multidisciplinary Project Platform for Water Systems in Developing Countries

EPA Grant Number: SU833943
Title: Creation of a Multidisciplinary Project Platform for Water Systems in Developing Countries
Investigators: Jellison, Kristen L. , Putnam, Eric D. , Kastango, Nicholas E. , Smith, Natalie L. , Weisman, Richard N.
Current Investigators: Jellison, Kristen L. , Putnam, Eric D. , Smith, Natalie L. , Weisman, Richard N. , Schweitzer, Andrew , Moon, Bruce , Canada, Holly , Kramer, Jason , Hunter, Kelsey , Kastango, Nick , Coull, Tim
Institution: Lehigh University
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2008 through August 14, 2009
Project Amount: $9,700
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2008) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Challenge Area - Water , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The Lehigh University chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA will design and construct a sustainable, multi-phase system for the treatment and distribution of drinking water in Pueblo Nuevo, Honduras. The new system will include a slow sand filter, hypochlorinator, water storage tank, and piping system upgrades. System design and implementation will be approached from a multidisciplinary standpoint, engaging students, faculty, and professionals from a variety of backgrounds to address the technical, social, environmental, and economic concerns associated with water projects in developing countries.


The project goals are two-fold: (i) to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water for the rural village of Pueblo Nuevo, Honduras, and (ii) to develop a multidisciplinary project platform, or holistic framework, which can be adopted by other organizations working on water system improvements in developing countries.


System design will fulfill several criteria. The new system will be (i) engineered to provide the quantity and quality of drinking water needed by the community; (ii) culturally appropriate, taking into account end-user lifestyles, water use patterns, preferences (assessed through personal communication and surveys), and local construction techniques; (iii) environmentally sound, using locally-available building materials, and avoiding the use of harsh chemicals or reliance on unsustainable energy sources; and (iv) locally sustainable, involving education programs to transfer system ownership, including all operation and maintenance responsibilities, to the Honduran community. Students, faculty, and professionals from a variety of disciplines, e.g., engineering, political science, environmental science, education, sociology, and economics, will be engaged in the design and implementation process to ensure project sustainability.

Expected Results:

Successful completion of this project will result in (i) an improved drinking water supply for Pueblo Nuevo, Honduras, and (ii) the development of a multidisciplinary project platform to ensure the technical, environmental, social, and economic sustainability of future water supply projects in developing countries.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 8 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

treatment technologies, sustainable infrastructure design, environmental policy, global considerations, holistic design, model for sustainability, international development,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report