AWWA, ASCE, and EWB-USA Launch New Community Engineering Corps

Today, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in alliance with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB USA) announced the launch of the Community Engineering Corps, a new program designed to offer no cost engineering services to underserved, resource constrained communities across the US that have demonstrated water supply problems.  Members of all three organizations can volunteer their time and expertise to become part of project teams designed to assist communities in need.

It is essential to note, however, that Community Engineering Corps is not a funding agency.  It provides engineering services.  It does not provide cash donations or grants to communities. Project funding will be the responsibility of the community.

The Community Engineering Corps expects to be partners in problem solving for the applicant communities.  Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate that they have been actively involved in development of the project proposal. Applicant communities would also be expected to explain “how the partnering organization and local community representatives will be involved in and contributing to all phases of the project.”

The application itself appears to be relatively straightforward, asking questions such as:

  • Why has the community not been able to complete this project using their own resources?
  • What will the partner community and community based organization contribute to the assessment and implementation of this project?
  • Provide background information for the proposed project.  There should be sufficient information to allow the reader to understand the context of the project.
  • Describe the problem that the proposed project is intended to solve.
  • How many people will be affected by this project in a certain geographic region (please provide an estimated NUMBER of people affected — not a description).

This web link http://www.ewb-usa.org/what-we-do/CEC provides greater detail about the new organization and its goals.  The link also includes information about who should apply, how to apply, and what is needed for a successful application.  A dedicated weblink is in development and will be shared when it goes “live.”

The Community Engineering Corps is looking for water projects to support.  Please share this opportunity with your partners and colleagues in the water supply community and with organizations known to be interested in providing support and assistance to communities in need.

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