Water for the World

Discipline: Civil Engineering
Instructor: D’Amato
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 0925
End: 1040
Field Work: Day 1 - Lisbon - Wednesday, 1 October | Portugal
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Water is the Earth’s most precious resource. This course introduces students interested in sustainable international development and global issues to one of the major challenges we face today: how to provide safe drinking water to 1 billion people and adequate sanitation to 2.6 billion people who currently lack these basic services. Students will learn the fundamentals of water quality, water borne diseases, and the basic principles of water and wastewater treatment. One major concern will be how to select appropriate and sustainable technologies for water and sanitation in developing countries.

Field Work

Country: Portugal
Day: 1 - Lisbon - Wednesday, 1 October

We will visit the “Water Museum” in Lisbon that has four branches: an 18th century aqueduct, an old pumping station, two reservoirs and numerous fountains around Lisbon. We will also visit a modern state of the art waste-water treatment facility. We will be experiencing water management through the ages. This would be a history of the water supply and treatment from the 18th century to the present. Students will appreciate the complexity of the processes and importance of water delivery and treating waste-water for a civilized society. A scientific paper will document and highlight some of the components studied and now observed. The paper will also contain a reflection section on the ancient water delivery system and the state of the art waste-water treatment system of Lisbon. Academic Objectives: The goal of this course is to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the highly complex issues surrounding water, its availability and uses on a global basis. This will include its history, current global water issues, water treatment processes for clean drinking water, waste-water treatment and solid waste management, worldwide. Special emphasis will be given to understanding systems in the countries visited on the fall semester at sea voyage. This goal will be accomplished through the following objectives:

  1. To understand the global issues surrounding the uses and needs of water.
  2. To understand the current issues associated with provision of clean drinking water and improved sanitation to the world’s population.
  3. To build students’ knowledge and comprehension of the history of water and sanitation infrastructure.
  4. To develop a global perspective on water supply and waste treatment.
  5. To understand the role of physical, chemical and biological principles in potable water and waste-water treatment processes and solid waste management.