Cipresal Water System Project – Mexico

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION. 

Cipresal, Ejido Cipresal, Municipio de Motozintla, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
Cipresal is a remote settlement of very modest homes in mountainous terrain SW of the city of Motozintla.

Over 20 years ago the Sierra Madre watershed was heavily deforested. Local springs have dried up. The people are very poor and the lack of water causes much hardship.

Problem Addressed
Currently, the community has an old water system that was built years ago, but it does not meet the needs of the population. Many households do not receive water.

Cipresal Water System Project - Mexico

Project Description
This project is to create a new water system, consisting of a water line and holding tank, to substantially increase the availability of water for 45 households in Cipresal.

The project will be managed by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, which serves impoverished communities in Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala. Sexto Sol previously completed the School Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico in partnership with Water Charity.

The project was planned by, and will proceed under the direction of, the Patronato de Agua Potable de Cipresal. They have worked to find workable solutions to the technical challenges due to the terrain, and to assure that water reaches every home. It was determined that the water source at the river is reliable and appropriate for use by the community.

The first part of the project is the laying of the hose. The men from the community will work together to bury a 2-kilometer line of 2″ polyducto hose from the highest point of the river so that it has the pressure needed to bring water over the steep terrain to a large holding tank that will be built. Polyducto hose is what is typically used in the region, given that the terrain requires it to follow curves in the topography. The product has a life of decades, especially when buried under the surface as planned. It is much more cost-effective than PVC.

It will take a week to 10 days to secure the hose. The supplier will deliver it over the dirt mountain road to a point as close as possible to where it is to be placed.

The holding tank will be built from river rock, as it will result in a stronger tank than one built of cinderblock. The community will do the heavy labor of hauling rock from the canyon to a 3-ton truck that will then take it over the ridges to the community.

The construction of the tank will be supervised by an experienced mason.

The system will utilize smaller distribution tanks that already exist. Families have their own hoses in already place.

The large valves and floaters in each individual tank will be replaced, since the community does not have the resources to pay for them.

At the source, a small structure will be built to stabilize the uptake to withstand intense flooding during the rainy season.

The community has the necessary permission from the local ejido/authorities to use the river. They have the organization in place to make sure that the system is maintained and that the water is distributed equitably and used appropriately.

Technical workshops will be conducted by Sexto Sol. One will be about the importance of managing the watershed. This is significant, in that most families earn money by cutting firewood, without regard to the deforestation that is taking place.

Sexto Sol will obtain seedlings, and the men will plant pine trees on the deforested slopes.

The other training will involve working with the women to give them new ways to manage the use of water, and to keep water clean and safe for domestic use.

A future project will be to design a system for directing the greywater to fruit trees. This will prevent water from pooling on the ground, and will prevent mud, odors, and disease-bearing insects. The project will be accomplished by providing 2 meters of 2″ PVC pipe to each household.

Water Charity funds will be used to purchase materials, hire the truck to deliver rock and sand, pay for the skilled labor, and provide a modest stipend for the project managers.

Project Impact
230 people will benefit from the project.

Project Director
Tamara Brennan, Ph.D.

Monitoring and Maintenance
Sexto Sol Center will monitor the progress of the project until completion. The community will maintain the system, ensuring that there are sufficient funds on hand to perform any needed repairs.

This project is part of the Sierra Madre Water Program, a comprehensive effort to improve water access in the underserved and impoverished Sierra Madre de Chiapas region close to the border with Guatemala.  These projects are designed and implemented by Water Charity and a local NGO the Sexto Sol Center for community development.

The project will more than double the amount of available water coming into the community and will solve the current problem of unequal distribution to homes that exists today. It will make it possible for grown children to establish their own households, and will help people grow vegetable gardens despite drought conditions.

Fundraising Target

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed

$0.00 – This project has been fully funded, through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

Any additional donations will be directed toward new projects in Mexico.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion CLICK HERE.

Cipresal Water System Project - Mexico
Cipresal Water System Project - Mexico