Similar to the project in La Criba, El Salvador, our project in El Pital is focused on getting a rural community easier access to potable water. The goal is to create a new water system, including several waterlines, a well, and a tank. This project is in the very beginning stages and so it is an amazing opportunity for new members to get involved!
Beginning in fall of 2018, EWB-CSU has worked with the Shambhala Mountain Center to design a road used for sewer system maintenance. The goal is to complete the road with minimal impact on the surrounding area. This project enables the club to help our immediate community, as the Mountain Center is located in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.
EWB-CSU began our partnership with the community of La Criba, El Salvador, in 2008. The difficulties for La Criba first began when an earthquake damaged the springs that supplied all the water to the community – this led to a deteriorating water distribution system and caused the water production of the springs to decrease drastically, as well as become contaminated. Since then, we have designed and installed a water distribution system including the transmission and distribution lines, a semi-automatic pump, and a 26,000 gallon tank. As of October 2016, nearly all of the 200+ homes in La Criba have running water. On our last trip, we helped to mitigate erosion around one of the transmission lines, develop a sustainable financial plan, and implement a lasting chlorination system. Currently, we are researching ways to continue serving the community of La Criba, such as improving internet access, installing solar panels to lower water bills, and further preventing erosion.
CSU-EWB is partnering with two non-profits on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the Tiyospaye Winyan Maka(TWM) and the Oglala Lakota Cultural & Economic Revitalization Initiative, in order to create a sustainable Earthship community center. An Earthship is a type of home that aims to be as sustainable as possible by utilizing recycled materials, off-grid power, and a self-sufficient food source.
Our team has designed a building that will include a classroom, bedrooms, a greenhouse, and a place to wash clothes as well as incorporate solar and wind power. Thus far, a basic architectural design and structural plan have been developed. Tires will be used as the building material for retaining walls and a greywater system will be integrated for irrigation. In August of 2017, a group of CSU students traveled to Pine Ridge and broke ground. More recently, the team has made a lot of progress on the structure, including work on its tire walls, gardening in the greenhouse, and construction of a roof.