Simple needs, page one: Norwich University emagazine

Simple needs:

Engineers design water system
for Bolivian village

photos by Sharlene Markowski, Adam Sevi and Greg Wight

In January, the biggest concerns about water in Vermont, home of Norwich University, involve the ice and snow that accompany a long cold snap.

But among 120 inhabitants of Patapatani, Bolivia, Norwich students and their professors are discovering water worries of a different and more critical nature.

“The people from the town lived on a day-to-day basis with no more than a light bulb and an old radio in their homes,” said Christopher Seifert, a third-year civil engineering major. “Just as eye-opening as the lifestyle was the water that people were using for drinking water—it was murky and quite a distance from the town center. It put into perspective how Americans take for granted the drinking water we have available.” continue

Civil engineering student Sharlene Markowski takes in the view of a hillside in Patapatani, Bolivia.

Civil engineering student Sharlene Markowski takes in the view of a hillside in Patapatani, Bolivia.