Conclusion of San José Xacxamayo Rainwater Catchment System Project – Mexico
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Elena Neibaur. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was to build 3 rainwater capture and storage systems and install 20 water filtration systems.
Watch Elena’s great video about this project entitled Rainwater Harvesting Project in Puebla, Mexico :
Prior to this project, the community had already adopted the use of rainwater harvesting (RWH) capture and storage. However, not all households had the means to construct their own tanks.
In implementing the project, 3 vulnerable households were selected to participate in receiving a RWH cistern of 10,000-liter capacity. Each RWH cistern took 4 days to complete and was constructed by a local skilled worker as well as the women who were receiving the cisterns, and 6 young women from the high school.
The households then installed gutters and connected PCV tubes from the roofs to their new cisterns to begin collecting rainwater.
Typically these cisterns have a life span of 30 years on average. However, if well maintained, with periodic cleaning and re-surfacing, they can even last longer, making the systems a sustainable, economical solution for the community.
In addition to the catchment systems, 20 water filtration systems were installed at these 3 households and 17 other households that have existing RWH cisterns but no sanitation systems in place. These filters came from a local organization, CATIS-Mexico, and are designed to filter rainwater to provide drinkable water.
The filter is a low-maintenance ceramic water filter, coated with colloidal silver that removes 99.999% of bacteria and pathogens. Each filter produces about 24 liters of clean water per day and will last 2 to 3 years.
The filter system requires periodic cleaning, about 6 times a year, and requires a replacement of the ceramic filter after 2 to 3 years, costing $100 pesos (less than $10 USD).
The filters helped to change behaviors and perceptions of the community members regarding rainwater, leading to an understanding that rainwater is the cleanest source of water and tastes good.
This project has helped the community to have a more sustainable, economical, and reliable source of water and at the same time adapt to rainfall fluctuations that community encounters due to climate change vulnerability.
The hands-on participation helped the community members learn to properly maintain their systems, ensuring that they will have a constant source of safe water.
We are grateful to Elena for completing this important project, and extend our thanks to those who donated to date.
This project still needs funding. Over $2,000 of our investment has yet to be recouped, so please consider donating.