Graham Sustainability Institute

Addressing Safe Water Access in Uganda

April 2020

SPOUTS is a ceramic water filter manufacturer based in Uganda that aims to provide an effective and affordable water filter to households that lack access to clean water. A Dow Distinguished Award student team is working with Sustainability Without Borders to conduct consumer surveys and a social life cycle assessment to develop a deeper understanding of the social and environmental impact of SPOUTS water filters. This past summer, the U-M team traveled to Uganda to interview community members, distribute the filters and surveys, and train enumerators so they could survey the people after the team left. The team also purchased and donated 12 water filters to two primary schools to engage with the community. They helped install the filters, demonstrated use and maintenance, and provided education on water-borne illnesses. Since this is a four-year project, a more comprehensive social life cycle assessment will be conducted in the future to include additional factors such as end-of-life responsibility.

Location: Uganda
Disciplines Represented: Environment, Public Health, Sociology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Business, Public Policy
Project Team: Ebony Johnson, Alexa White, Quinn Favret, Annalisa Wilder, Addison Carr, and Fantasia Williams (Team Lead)
Faculty Advisor: Jose Alfaro, School for Environment and Sustainability
Project Client/Sponsor: Sustainability Without Borders