Nubia Mercado Ramirez, a member of Bright Prospect’s original class of 2003, currently studies at Art Center School of Design, where she is majoring in Automotive Design.  Nubia was part of a team of designers and engineers that went to Chile in 2009, where they evaluated the needs of a settlement that lacks running water and came up with several innovative designs to facilitate water access for that community.  After the February 2010 massive earthquake in Chile, some of the apparatuses this team designed were deployed in a widespread way in the affected regions.

Nubia just reported to us that her team, Safe Agua, recently was awarded the highest prize in the Spark International Design Competition, sponsored by Hewlett Packard.  Congratulations to Nubia and her Safe Agua team members! 

The particular apparatus Nubia worked on directly was Gota a Gota (‘Drop by Drop’), which “affords families the ease, convenience, and dignity of turning on a tap to get running water. This easy-to-install gravity-fed system combines three components: (1) a foot pump, designed for ease of use by women, kids and the elderly, elevates water to an exterior storage tank, which sits atop a self-constructed wooden platform; (2) water then flows through a hose to an ergonomic faucet with a convenient clip for tasks performed outdoors, such as laundry; (3) another hose leads into an indoor faucet with a flexible nozzle and easy on-off handle.”

For more information about the Safe Agua project, see