• Validate a new water source by running bacteriological, chemical, and parasite testing, while also performing a topographical survey to ascertain adequate hydraulic pressures from head at future domestic tap stands. The new source will be upstream from a unprotected source currently used, which has been shown to have high fecal coliform counts. During this
• Create a draft of an Operations, Monitoring and Evaluation plan for use when the project is completed (very important)
Thus Far, the following progress has been made
• Jalapa Government Design Collaboration: Contact with the Alcalde and department engineer Reyna has been made, and preliminary project designs are being constructed given…
• Laws and Water Rights: On Wednesday, August 17 we had a workshop to go over a new water committee called CAPS, which stands for Committee of Agua Potable and Sanitation, and is through the INAA, and law No 722, to have rights to form a committee with certain rights, outlined in the meeting. The whole water team was in attendance. The process of jumping on board with a CAPS requires national approval (a bunch of bureaucratic forms sent to Managua).
• Water Quality Testing: Department engineer in Jalapa, Reyna and I met to talk with folks at MINSA (a national water testing group), to figure out how to acquire tests for chemicals (from pesticides used upstream), as well as parasites, such as giardia and cryptosporidium pi. We are waiting for more information on how we can acquire testing, since I haven’t found anyone here who knows what cryptosporidium eve. I also spoke with Greg (last name) an old FCP field worker who spent a great deal of time installing water projects in Jalapa, who now lives in Leon, Nicaragua, and he made recommendations per his own knowledge and the contacts and knowledge of his wife who did water testing in Managua for some time. They have given me some leads in Managua that I will probe for next week. Knowing what’s in the water is of the upmost importance before forking out thousands of dollars to install a project.
Reyna made a suggestion that we look for statistics of cases of parasites and evaluate parasites in the water from that angle. This idea makes me uneasy for so many reasons.
Thus far we have nutrient and bacterial tests for the Piedras source and current source, which does in fact show a appreciable decrease in total fecal coliforms going upstream from the current source (~50col/100ml to ~14/100ml), but surely indicates the need for chlorination, as these tests show that while there may not be harmful pathogens in the water, their certainly is poop in there.
• Local Donor and Land Owner Meetings: Karla and I are working together to create times to meet with local farmers and to go over the CAPS law book and acquire forms necessary to apply as a CAPS member, gaining the rights thereby granted (or whatever, I’m not a lawyer :)). We are also planning to meet the president of Somoto’s Rotary club (nearby town to Jalapa), as Travis has been hard at work meeting with local Rotary contacts in Boulder (and in Denver Travis?)
• Preliminary design of system for an understanding of project donor needs, designing with two different programs (EPAnet) and with GoodWater V1.1 from a well known professor at the University of Florida to check the designs both by the EPAnet software as well as the designs by the department of the alcalde. This design is likely to entail:
o Conduction line and distribution line diameters, lengths, and spatial location.
o Storage tank (for peak demand times)
o Chlorination tank
o Filter (potentially)
o Sedimentation Tank (likely, the water turbidity is 40 NTU)
o Miscellaneous items I’m forgetting
• Meeting with Somoto Rotary Club to talk over the details of the project, and to hopefully gain support from them in some capacity.
• Conduct the needed water tests to feel sure that this source is going to be an improvement.
• Meeting with the farmers to get written agreements stating that we can use their land to lay the pipes, and to use a agreed upon amount of water through the controlled restraining of Las Piedras (from what it looks like if we can use even 1/10 of the available water that should sustain Pasmata for years to come.
• Continue to make community visits to get to know people, and to listen to their needs and hear the whole story.
I love this work! More posts in the weeks to come!