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 a water filtration, storage, and distribution system to serve the community. During this upcoming summer, EWB-SMU will travel to Llojlla Grande to implement part of this system and train the community in management and repair.
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.
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 travel to Llojlla Grande this summer to begin implementing the first part of the solution. 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.
DESIGNING A SOLUTION - In early February 2016, EWB-SMU submitted three potential designs to the community of Llojlla Grande. On March 14th, 2016, the community responded with their design selection, a full scale water distribution system with piping to every home. The team is now in the process of fully fleshing out this design and fundraising to support a trip to visit the community for more information.