Today we welcomed guest speaker Vinicius Taguchi from the University of Minnesota's chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB).  This was an impressive young man who is working on his PhD in Civil Engineering at the U of M.  He is also active in Twin Cities Rotaract, which is where John Suzukida met him when delivering a presentation at one of their meetings.  Taguchi's area of focus is in water resources research.  He talked with us today about EWB and their current projects in Ethiopia and Guatemala.  Both projects involve improving access to clean water.  Like Rotary, EWB's model for these types of projects requires active participation from the recipient community and support from a local NGO to ensure that there is community buy-in and ability to handle future maintenance.  Also, like Rotary, EWB chapters are governed by a larger organization when it comes to obtaining grant money to proceed with projects.  In the case of EWB, there is a national group that vets projects and NGOs and helps secure support from businesses and engineering firms.  EWB is modeled after Doctors Without Borders, but unlike DWB, does not go into war zones and therefore participants do not face quite as many risks in their work.  
Interestingly, Taguchi is also working with the City of Shoreview to help solve a problem that has been vexing the City for some time - the "greening" of the large pond on city property being caused by phosphates and other forms of run-off.