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Executive Summary

As the human race expands to larger population numbers, there are a lot of limiting factors to consider. One of such factors is the amount of accessible fresh water which is becoming scarcer each year with increased demands. Not only are we using more water, the quality of water is of great concern. Developing countries around the world have designed simple water collection systems but often times the water they collect contains harmful bacteria and many times water is taken straight from a polluted source. Waterborne illnesses from contaminated water are one of the main causes of death worldwide. Our team here in EWB recognizes the need for clean drinking water and a sustainable way of life along with the parallels of this project being conducted around the globe. In EWB, we combine our different disciplines of engineering to design, build, and implement systems that can alleviate developing nations that lack access to life essentials. This partnership focuses on implementation of environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects while giving future professionals a hands-on experience and opportunity to help the world with what they have learned. The rainwater system we plan on adding to is a great addition to the environmentally-friendly systems being used in the new Public Health Building. The educational aspect of the piece, that we will provide with an easy-to-follow display, informs everyone who enters the building about the benefits of such a system and the logistics of how the system works, something that is not common knowledge. We hope the educational aspect of the project will spark a transition in buildings around the Seattle area (and beyond), as we hope to inspire other buildings to implement rainwater systems for its ecological and economic reasons. This display system will only cost around $2,000 as an estimation plus the added $15,000 from the additions to the system needed to put it in the lobby. The University of Washington, although not limited to, can also perform ongoing research and monitor water quality at this site with outlet pipes allowing for such testing. Development of new water filters for drinking or other uses, such as for fish populations, can also be conducted, but, this is still in the developing stages.

Primary Contact:
Andrew Lindgren