University of Rhode Island Foundation
on behalf of
the URI Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

$100,000 | 3 Years


University of Rhode Island       Cumayasa, Dominican Republic

Economic feasibility and environmental impact are essential considerations when designing drinking water systems in developing communities. However, as climate change becomes an ever-increasing concern, engineers must account for its impacts in their design parameters. This project proposes to bridge the gap between macro-scale climate change science and drinking water system development for communities worldwide by developing an innovative Community Climate Change Strategy (CCCS) to design sustainable water systems for climate change adaptation and mitigation; and to improve the effectiveness of the CCCS by implementing a climate-ready drinking water system for a newly constructed school in Cumayasa, Dominican Republic. The project includes technical research, implementation, and education/outreach and will require collaboration with universities (Columbia, University of New Hampshire, University of South Florida, Boston University), intergovernmental organizations, professional engineers, engineering organizations, health officials, and Engineers for a Sustainable World. The final product, which will include providing a climate-ready potable water system to 1258 community members in the Dominican Republic, will result in the dissemination of a globally-applicable strategy and decision-making matrix that will assist smaller communities in selecting climate-friendly, economically feasible water sources and treatment technologies.

The purpose of the CCCS will be to address the impacts of climate change at the community level, making the response to climate change more accessible to small-scale systems so that everyone can contribute to the solution. The developed matrix will guide people though selecting the appropriate water sources and treatment technologies, providing vulnerable communities with the tools necessary to design their water systems for climate change. The CCCS will be designed to be scalable and applicable to community-based water system designs worldwide. Following completion of the program, training materials will be provided to various intergovernmental and development organizations performing engineering projects worldwide in order to disseminate the CCCS on a global scale. We hope that with an increasing number of international engineering organizations considering climate change parameters and strategies for water projects, the world’s ability to adapt to and mitigate a changing climate will increase significantly; not just in large metropolitan areas, but also in small developing communities.


Stay tuned to learn more about this project as it gets underway!

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