Supporting Engineers Without Borders to bring safe and sustainable water to La Reforma, Guatemala
Submitted by Tetra Tech
Each year at Tetra Tech’s annual meeting, its employees donate to a charity organization. At the 2019 annual meeting, we donated to an Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) water project in La Reforma, Guatemala.
The community of La Reforma is a small town in the northern part of the country. This village has about 800 community members, and all lack access to a safe and sustainable water supply. Each day, women and children collect water from a spring to bring back to their community storage receptacle. Some families travel about two miles each way. The time spent collecting water prevents many of the women from working and children from attending school regularly. The limited amount of water collected and dumped in the storage receptacle is often recycled for activities such as drinking, bathing, and watering crops, posing health risks to the community.
EWB-USA’s Old Dominion University chapter is working with the community of La Reforma to design and implement a clean water distribution network. The team has conducted water tests and social and land elevation surveys. This data collection helps EWB-USA design a sustainable distribution system that the community can operate and maintain.
The system includes both gravity-drained and pumped water. At this time, the design and calculations are halfway complete, including the gravity side of the system and bridge to elevate a section of pipes. Additionally, the pump side of the water distribution system is nearing completion. The team is now submitting their alternative analysis for review, completing a hydraulic and water quality monitoring application, working to complete electrical engineering tasks, and fundraising for the rest of the project.
Tetra Tech’s financial support of this EWB-USA project is helping the community of La Reforma achieve a more sustainable and healthy future. If you would like to help support the team in Guatemala, you can donate on their fundraising page.
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