Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide to improve their quality of life. This partnership involves the implementation of sustainable engineering projects while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students. There are chapters and projects located around the world. For more information visit, ewb-usa.org or ewb-international.org.

Clean Water Supply Project in Progress in India

Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." 

Engineers and architects take these words to heart by volunteering for humanitarian, engineering, architecture, environmental and community service projects. 

For example, the village of Chakicherla Pedda Patapu Palem (CPPP) located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, has a new water treatment facility, thanks to the efforts of the San Diego chapter of Engineers Without Borders. 

Several HDR engineers have been involved in the project since it began around 2008, using vacation and personal time to help support the project. 

The project was to provide a potable water supply to serve approximately 4,000 people. Following preliminary work and several onsite visits, engineers designed and constructed a water treatment facility. Previously the villagers used two public hand pumps to get potable water from a small aquifer. One pump frequently ran dry during the dry season. The walk to the hand pumps was typically made by women and girls twice per day and each trip took approximately 25 minutes. 

Engineers developed a reverse osmosis system, a process that passes the water at a high pressure through a permeable membrane to remove the salt, leaving a clean sweet taste. 

Residents now have easier access to a clean water supply. 

The water treatment facility has been operating successfully for more than a year and the team plans to implement a solar array to help power the facility in the next year to increase treatment capacity.

Our Employees Involved

Eric Scherch served as project manager for five years and is now an advisor. He and Joel Engleson, both in the San Diego office, made trips to the village. Working from our Bellevue, Wash., office Pierre Kwan was instrumental in the development and review of the reverse osmosis process for the water treatment facility.