Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



International potable water projects are becoming more common in underdeveloped countries. The necessity of getting clean drinking water to remote areas, or areas with limited access to water is becoming more desperate. This desperation is causing more people to seek to give aid to those in need but often times this comes with a price to the community. This price comes in the form of infrastructure that is unsustainable, building materials left behind instead of disposed of properly, and systems that require upkeep without proper training, as well as many other cultural and economic negative impacts. Many times aid organizations go into communities, set up shop, put in a potable water system and leave without discussing the process or even the upkeep with community members. This may lead to projects that are unused or go into disuse. It is very important that water developers and planners seek to make the process of designing, implementing and upkeep of water systems truly participatory. Well-structured and managed participation ensures that knowledge is shared and that the water system goes into effect in an area where it will be used, as well as have low impact on the environment. By focusing on the social processes, practices, relationships and the meanings behind these, understanding will be gained about the way of life of the people before interaction. This, along with minimizing outside influence, making the process truly participatory and analyzing existing natural and environmental systems, water developers and planners, along with community members, can create systems that fit well with the form and cultural analysis of the community as well as its natural resources, water and ecological system.



Document Type


Degree Name

Community and Regional Planning

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Richardson, James

Second Committee Member

Valencia, Cristobal


Water, Water Projects, Planning, Community, Participatory

Included in

Architecture Commons