water distribution in nicaragua

About the project

Goal: Working with a community in Los Gomez, Nicaragua to build a reliable, sustainable, and accessible source of water.

Timeline:

  • 2012 – Pedestrian Bridge
    • Ochomogo, Nicaragua
  • 2014 – Water Project Started
    • Los Gomez, Nicaragua
  • 2017 – Drilled 250 ft water well
    • Los Gomez, Nicaragua
  • 2020 – Completed pipeline designs, start of remote implementation¬†
the location: Ochomogo, near los gomez, nicaragua

The community of Ochomogo is located in rural Nicaragua near the west coast, close to Los Gomez. It is located in the Carazo region and has a population of around 240 people, split between 66 homes. This community is primarily made up of farmers and ranchers that rely on the cycle of wet and dry seasons in the region to grow their crops. The people of Los Gomez spend a lot of free time playing baseball and enjoying family meals. The town has electrical infrastructure, but is susceptible to outages, especially in the wet seasons. They are heavily dependent on unreliable, shallow wells, or unsafe surface water, and they predominately use pit latrines. To address this concern, MWB is working with the community to build a well and water distribution system.

History

In 2012, MWB started working with the community of Ochomogo, Nicaragua, and discussions with the community at that time started a project to build a footbridge to cross a river during the wet season. MWB continued work with Los Gomez in March 2014 with the proposed water distribution system. Nearly 83% of Los Gomez residents lack both accessible and clean water, and the dry season only exaggerates the existing poor water conditions. In March 2016, MWB traveled to the community to determine the most beneficial development project. An overwhelming majority of the community agreed to build a clean, accessible and sustainable source of water, prompting the Los Gomez Water Project. They have continued work since then.

Goals
  • Design and build a water distribution system that provides the community with a clean, reliable, and accessible source of water
  • Create and continue a strong, lasting relationship with Los Gomez
  • Potentially inspire future projects to support local communities like Los Gomez
Skills Gained / Broader Takeaways
  • Technical skills in pipeline operation and water supply
  • Learning new Spanish skills and overcoming communication barriers
  • Experience in raising funds and increasing member involvement
  • Problem-solving and innovation skills
  • Leaning how to work efficiently as a team
  • Adapting to new working conditions in a different culture and language
  • Cultural diversity and enrichment

What we’re currently doing

We are currently working on hiring an engineer and informing the engineer on the project details. We are also working on remote implementation since we will probably not be able to travel due to the global pandemic and political unrest. Additionally, we are working on a plan for remote implementation which will be easily followed by the team in Nicaragua. We have partnered with the Westminster 7:10 Rotary Club to help us with funding.

looking forward

Right now, our team is mainly focused on finishing the current water distribution project for the Los Gomez community as we excitingly move into the initial steps of remote implementation. Looking towards the future, we hope that our interactions with the community of Los Gomez create a strong, lasting relationship. This friendship may also inspire future projects to meet the community’s additional needs once the water project is completed.

WATER PROJECT LEADS

MADISON BERRY

Madison is a senior in mechanical engineering and has been apart of the team since her freshman year. As the project lead, she does a lot of the coordination and communications work for the team.

berry@mymail.mines.edu

 

DAVID GUETZOV

David is a sophomore studying mechanical engineering, and this is his second year working with the project. As the new lead of the project, he works a lot with the coordination with the University, EWB, and our new members.

 guetzov@mymail.mines.edu