Teri Vance: Carson City student brings water to those in need
Some of the things we take most for granted, specifically access to clean drinking water, is unheard of in some parts of the world.
Carson City’s Lexi Robertson — a senior majoring in environmental engineering and minoring in Spanish at the University of Nevada, Reno — hopes to change that.
As a member of the Student Association for International Water Issues, she traveled to Peru in January where she helped install a drip chlorination system in the rural outskirts of Luya.
“It was the first time the people in that community had access to treated drinking water,” she said. “In some of these places, soda is cheaper than bottled water. It was incredible.”
The association worked with UNR engineering graduate Austin Martin, who’s now a Peace Corps volunteer.
“One of the major goals of our project was sustainability,” Robertson said. “This project was selected since Austin lives within the community, which made it possible to train local Peruvians on how to use and troubleshoot the system after we returned to the U.S., so this system is a long-term solution.”
While in Peru, from Jan. 1-16, Robertson also helped design and implement a water delivery system to convert a former landfill into a greener area in Ferreñafe.
The mission of the Student Association for International Water Issues is to develop an understanding of global water issues and promote community empowerment through education.
According to the website, “SAIWI seeks to provide a forum that fosters communication, enhances the dissemination of related information and encourages the proper development of water resources primarily in underprivileged, developing nations where a great need exists for potable water supplies.”
After her graduation in May, Robertson said, she hopes to continue doing similar work.
“I’m looking to get involved in outreach in water-related engineering issues,” she said.
The association is hosting its largest annual fundraiser today. For more information or to donate, go to http://www.saiwi.org.