Katie Camille Friedman, 2010, Chemical Engineering

At the International Water Association, I worked with the Development group, which focuses on water and sanitation issues in developing countries. Working with a knowledgeable and experienced team, I had the opportunity to focus my efforts on two main projects. First, I conducted background research as well as drafted a brief for workshops in disaster prone countries to integrate water safety plans into disaster preparedness planning. A water safety plan is an important system of managing risks, from the source to the tap, as well as increasing resilience of a water system. These workshops will aim to coordinate government, NGO, and community members who work in the areas of water as well as disaster preparedness and relief. I gathered information on who the major actors are as well as noted problems with current systems in Mozambique, Vietnam, Nepal, Honduras, and Peru. The other project was working with the Access to Water task force. This group aims to produce a document that highlights success factors in increasing access to water in urban areas, considering a wide range of issues including operations and management, pro-poor policy, financial barriers, and community ownership. I gathered case studies for the group and presented summaries as to aid the proceedings of the group and compile factors to be addressed. Overall, this was a great opportunity to play a role in these projects as well as learn a lot about what is going on all around the world regarding safe water and sanitation practices.  Finding all of this (in addition to a 2008 Grand Challenges Internship regarding safe water in Nigeria) really interesting and exciting, I hope to continue to work in this area after graduation.