Dec 012011
 
Authors: Allison Knaus

Almost one billion people around the world don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water. Twenty five CSU students are trying to change that.

In an effort to raise awareness for the lack of clean water, members of the university’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Club is hosting an event from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the Ramskeller.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature local Fort Collins band Mister Mistress, as well as information about what CSU’s chapter of EWB is doing to combat the global clean water crisis.

Engineers Without Borders, a national non-profit organization, is centered around the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects.

The program takes professional and student engineers into third world countries to help towns and villages improve the quality of life through sustainable projects, said club member Cole Buckon, a sophomore environmental engineering major.

According to club Vice President Madeleine Wilbur, a sophomore science engineering major, joining EWB combined both her passion for her major and helping to solve one of the largest global issues.

“The clean water crisis is killing nearly five million people yearly and it’s entirely preventable,” she said. “We take it for granted, being able to walk anywhere on campus and get fresh water, but after traveling to India and Haiti, I’ve seen that they have much different situations going on.”

Currently, the CSU chapter of EWB is working on a project in La Cuerva, El Salvador, a small mountain town of roughly 800 people that needs a replacement for their 60-year-old water system.

For a project to be completed by EWB, a community in need approaches the national organization and projects are later assigned to different student branches around the country.

Once assigned a project, Wilbur said the club immediately makes contact with the community and some members are able to travel to the project site once or twice a year.

While most of the time contractors are hired to complete the work, students are able to go and see the progress being made on the project, Buckon said.

“We strive for a long-term relationship with the community, and the projects we work on are more like social change than charity,” Wilbur said.

Thus far, the CSU branch of EWB has dug a well in La Cuerva, which is producing about 200 gallons of water per minute, explained EWB President James Brundage, a senior civil engineering major.

“We still hope to revamp the whole distribution center for easier water accessibility and cleanse the water through some sort of chlorine system,” he said.

Approximately $30,000 needs to be raised for the next phase of the project.

To find out more information on EWB and how to donate, visit www.engr.colostate.edu/ewb/.

Collegian writer Allison Knaus can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Rockin’ out thirst

What: Benefit concert to promote Engineers Without Borders and the issue of clean water. Local Fort Collins band, Mister Mistress will play followed by a short documentary

When: Tonight, 5-7 p.m.

Where: The Ramskeller
Cost: Free

Dine and donate: Stop by these local eateries and mention Engineers Without Borders and a portion of profits will be donated to the club and their fundraising efforts

Monday at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop all day a percentage of the profits will go to EWB

Wednesday at the Golden Spoon from 5-8 p.m. all proceeds will benefit EWB

Friday at Café Mexacali all day, a percentage of the proceeds will benefit EWB

 Posted by at 4:31 pm

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