Emily Moder, 2013, Civil and Environmental Engineering

As part of a continuing five-year partnership with the community of Samne, Peru, a representative team of students from Princeton’s Engineers Without Borders chapter traveled this summer with the goal of implementing Phase I of a potable water project for the community. While central Samne has clean running water, the settlement of La Pitajaya, 40 minutes outside town, takes its water from an open stream flowing from the polluted Moche River. While in Peru, we worked closely with community members to figure out the best way to capture the water of a clean spring source, built a concrete source box to regulate the water and a reservoir base above the town for storage, and began digging trenches for the 5-km pipe network which will transport the water into the community. We also worked with the women and children of the town to talk about water and sanitation issues, and to ensure that the system is well understood and appreciated so that it will be sustained. The project will continue and we hope to send another team to help finish it, by laying the piping and building household tapstands, next summer. This project allowed me to apply knowledge and skills from my civil and environmental engineering classes in a practical setting, and gave me valuable experience working in the field on susbainable development projects.