Crafting Clean Water in the Navajo Nation
A cross-cultural collaboration is teaming environmental engineers, scientists and artisans in developing a water filtration system for the Navajo Nation, which extends across parts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Pollutants in the region have long made it necessary for residents to transport water themselves or have it delivered from distant sources. The project entails providing water in ways that accommodate Navajo culture, such as water filtration systems that serve the needs of makers of the Navajo Nation’s prized handcrafted pottery. Environmental engineer Otakuye Conroy-Ben, an assistant professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of the Fulton Schools, and a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, comments on challenges the project presents in achieving culturally centered technological advances.