Heat-related illness in Phoenix causes about 1500 hospitalizations and 180 deaths annually. Homeless individuals are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Availability of heat relief is currently very limited. Hydration stations are not always open, and they only distribute single-use plastic bottles. For example, the Heat Relief Regional Network is only open during the summer. Additionally, places to fill reusable water bottles are not always available for the unhoused population. People who stay near public water fountains (such as those in the light rail station) can be arrested for loitering, and areas near water access points are typically crowded. 

We will construct additional hydration stations in accessible locations for the downtown Phoenix homeless population to relieve some of the issues described above. So far, we have focused on “Problem Definition” and “Specification Development” so we know exactly what functions a hydration station must perform. Our stations, some housed in buildings and others mobile, will have three main components: reusable water bottles, a sanitation method for reusable water bottles, and a way to fill reusable water bottles. Going forward, we will work closely with Human Services Campus, Inc. to design and build hydration stations that are cost-effective, sustainable, and easy to maintain. 

Team Members:

  • Emily Hagood, Junior, Materials Science Engineering
  • Brandon Grimes, Sophomore, Civil Engineering
  • Vanessa Woo, Sophomore, Mechanical Engineering
  • Sophia Schneider, Sophomore, Chemical Engineering
  • Faith Therese Cisneros, Sophomore, Biomedical Engineering
  • Keith Dixon, Sophomore, Mechanical Engineering
  • William Shreffler, Freshman, Mechanical Engineering