Water the World: From SMU to Bolivia is an effort by EWB-SMU to provide Llojlla Grande with clean water that will improve the health and livelihood of community members. The project began from the belief that clean water should not be a luxury, and will ultimately supply one of life’s most basic necessities to over 150 people.
The community currently relies on shallow wells that are high in salt, manganese, and arsenic. EWB-SMU is working to provide the community with a better solution. Through collaboration with Llojlla Grande and Engineers in Action (EIA), the local Bolivian NGO, the team is designing and implementing a water filtration, storage, and distribution system to serve the community. This January, EWB-SMU plans on returning to Bolivia to complete the second stage of implementation.
Llojlla Grande currently relies on a system of 34 shallow wells spread throughout the community to supply all of its water needs. These wells are very easily contaminated and many have high levels of salt, manganese, and arsenic. Due to the unhealthy conditions, communication began in December of 2014 between Llojlla Grande and EWB-SMU. In 2015, EWB-SMU sent a small team on an assessment trip to Llojlla Grande to better understand the situation. On the trip, team members surveyed the community, tested the 34 shallow wells, and gathered GPS data for all important locations. This data was used to help EWB-SMU best design a system to provide clean water for Llojlla Grande.
In January of 2017, EWB-SMU traveled to Llojlla Grande to implement the first stage of this system. A team of six students, plus two students working on separate research programs and a professional adviser, spent about two weeks meeting with the community and doing construction in the Northern half of Llojlla Grande. The team oversaw the drilling of a deep well, sealed the well, flagged future pipelines, and poured a concrete slab to be used for a future elevated structure.
Since the assessment trip during August 2015, EWB-SMU has been working with Llojlla Grande and Engineers in Action to design a sustainable water solution that will best serve the community. The team will continue to design and implement the community-wide system in the coming years. The system will take multiple trips to fully implement. In addition to installation, the team will teach community members how to effectively maintain and repair the system. After the implementation trips are completed, EWB-SMU will continue to travel back to Llojlla Grande to help monitor the system to ensure long term viability.
- Build a clean, reliable source of water for the community of Llojlla Grande, Bolivia.
- Improve the health and livelihood of community members.
- Successfully educate community members to maintain and repair the water system.
- Provide a learning opportunity for EWB-SMU members to serve a community in need.
CONTINUING IMPLEMENTATION - In January of 2018, EWB-SMU completed the second stage of implementation during a two week trip to the community in Bolivia. After returning home, the team quickly began to work on post-trip documentation, and planning for the next trip, which is slated for January of 2019. These plans include submitting documentation and designs for approval by EWB-USA and continuing to fundraise to support travel and construction costs.