Andrea Ballestero, a second-year anthropology graduate student at UC Irvine, will travel to the coastal community of Cocles, Costa Rica, next month to study its innovative system of water pricing based on the collective purchasing power of its residents. A driving force behind Ballestero’s research is the fact that 4 out of 10 people in the world lack access to water. The trip is made possible by fellowships from the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs at UCI and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. In Costa Rica, Ballestero will study a national subsidy program that covers water bills for people living under the poverty line to see if it has been successful in providing water to the poor and can be implemented in other areas.