Water for the World

Discipline: Environmental Science
Instructor: Allen
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 12:50
End: 14:05
Field Work: Day 1 - Lisbon - Friday, 27 September | Portugal
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This course will examine complex issues associated with providing potable water to the world’s population. Topics will include the use of surface and ground water as potable water supplies, fundamentals of water chemistry, the engineering principles used to design modern water treatment and distribution systems, and problems associated with providing potable water in developing global communities.

Field Work

Country: Portugal
Day: 1 - Lisbon - Friday, 27 September

A critical factor in the development and growth of cities has been finding a way to provide water and to treat the waste water.  While rivers and streams often determined the sites of cities, these water supplies were inadequate and often became contaminated.  Surface waters could be brought from remote locations into cities by aqueducts and canals.  We will visit one of the Roman aqueducts that helped supply water in the early days of Lisbon.  It was also necessary to distribute the water throughout the city.  We will visit and walk through an underground distribution system that was eventually replaced by pipes.  Cisterns and fountains played an important role in distribution of water throughout seasonal changes and through the city.  Eventually it was found that by drilling wells fresh pure water could be extracted but this required energy to pump the water to the surface and to distribute it throughout the city.  We will visit one of these old pumping stations.  Finally, the disposal of waste water will be observed as it has changed over the centuries. We will be able to observe the considerable effort that a large city has expended over the centuries to provide and treat water. Academic Objectives: 1 .Students will develop an understanding of the technical issues with providing safe drinking water. 2. Students will be able to see and compare how water sources and distribution within an urban environment has evolved over time to meet growing demands. 3. Students will evaluate the pre and post treatment of water supplies.