Engineers Without Borders San Rafael Water Project

support UMBC ambassadors for water access and quality

  • $2,841

    pledged of $5,000

    • 25


    • 0


This project received pledges on Mon 04 Mar 2019

You can make a difference

In the spring of 2019, five UMBC Engineers without Borders students will travel to Costa Rica for a second water quality assessment trip. Students will collect information needed to design a water storage tank for about 70 people in the San Rafael de Arancibia community.

To make this trip a success, we need to raise $5,000.

Last year, thanks to the generosity of several donors including Emily Grace, Bambi Kshimetski, Taste Tea of Arbutus, Maryland, two anonymous donors, and all of our fiscal year 2018 supporters, we were able to travel to Costa Rica and conduct the first phase of our assessment.

But we need your help to take on phase 2!  To reach our goal of $5,000 we hope we can count on your support.

Who are we?

We are a student chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA made up of undergraduate and graduate students from many different disciplines at UMBC.

Our mission is to use what we know and learn to support community-driven development programs worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders.

The UMBC Engineers Without Borders chapter has 30 members. 

Our story

Our UMBC chapter is undertaking this mission to Costa Rica to focus on water access and quality. We have completed several projects including a water supply project in Kenya, Africa, where we drilled a well and installed a pump to provide a community of nearly 200 people access to clean water for the first time. Locally, we took on the "canoe and scoop" project to clean trash along Middle Branch Park in the city of Baltimore. 

For our current project, we are partnering with the community of San Rafael de Arancibia, Costa Rica to improve their water quality and access. It will be a multi-phase project, the first phase of which is building a new water tank to replace their current leaking one.

Our UMBC team of selected students will be traveling to San Rafael in January 2019 to gather data for the design process of the first phase of the water project, and to purchase supplies to make minor improvements to the current water system.

Last summer (2018), our assessment team traveled to San Rafael to evaluate issues with the current water system. The team tested current water quality, inspected current water supply and treatment systems, mapped the current piping system, and gathered information on undeveloped water sources to develop the design of a solution.

This trip gave students valuable hands-on experience in land surveying, water sample collection, and water quality testing. This project is giving students a chance to practice defining the scope of a problem with input from all stakeholders and designing engineering solutions for long-term sustainability. EWB students develop into internationally-responsible engineers.

Our biggest goal is to engineer a solution with this community, not for them. Your support will increase our capacity to become globally-responsible leaders.

Where will the money go?

Funds raised will provide opportunities for UMBC students to travel abroad and make an impact by helping a community meet their water needs. It will also give students resources to enrich their educational experiences. Assessment and implementation trips costs are as the following:

  • Round trip flights: $600 per student. 
  • Food and lodging: $150 per student. 
  • Water quality test kits: $50 per kit.
  • Piping cost: $10-$20 per square foot.
  • Tank material costing is to be determined after the second assessment trip.

Find us here!

Twitter: @EWBatUMBC


Calendar of Events

Contact if you want to be added to our mailing list!

Engineers Without Borders - University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Help us succeed!

Your donation is greatly appreciated and when you share you help us even more! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, on Facebook, through LinkedIn, by email, by telephone, in a chat over the fence, or on your blog. Thank you for partnering with us to supply water to communities around the world and train engineering students to be globally responsible!

All contributions raised are administered by the UMBC Foundation for the benefit of UMBC.

Special thanks to our mentors for their unyielding support!