Downtown Phoenix, a desert city with 120° days and little to no rain for months at a time, can leave even the most experienced citizens dehydrated and desperate for shelter. The unhoused community in Downtown Phoenix lacks the amenities for property sanitation and hydration year-round. For upwards of 25,000 people, living through the deadly Phoenix summers without adequate shelter has left them particularly vulnerable to both dehydration and heat-induced illnesses. City officials have tried to combat this by providing the homeless one-time-use plastic water bottles. While this initiative provides instantaneous relief to a pressing situation, it can be expensive and inefficient. We will be working with Amy Schwabenlender as our community partner to develop the Hydration Station – a design that will sanitize and refill reusable plastic water bottles.
We are planning to reengineer a Brio Water Filling Station to where the hot water will stem from our sanitation station as well as planning out a draining path for used water during the sanitation process. We need to figure out how to conserve as much soap possible during the sanitation process as we are trying to make the Hydration Station affordable, practical, and efficient. Our goal is to build one functioning prototype that includes a sanitation system and a filling station by early December. Having a prototype that is operational will pivot our project from Stage 2 to Stage 3 as we will be conducting trials to see how durable and lasting our Hydration Station is when used by the homeless population in Downtown Phoenix