Apply to Join
May 27, 2016

NYT and New Momentum with Rainwater Campaign!

Students perform to inaugurate rainwater project
Students perform to inaugurate rainwater project

Dear Global Giving Supporters, 

This is an exciting update for us here at Caminos de Agua (formerly CATIS-Mexico). This past month, our rainwater harvesting projects – funded largely through this campaign – were featured in a New York Times article! Photojournalist, Janet Jarman, has been following Caminos de Agua’s (Caminos) rainwater projects for the past year, and recently she brought on New York Times journalist – Elisabeth Malkin – to tell the regional water story through the perspective of Father Juan Carlos Zesati, a partner and local force in the region.  Check out the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/20/world/americas/mexico-water-farms-drought.html

Since our last update, we received some funds to continue on with this important work.  We were able to leverage those funds with our partner coalition – the Coalition in Defense of the Independence Watershed – to build nine (9) new rainwater systems!  Three of those systems were built directly with funds through this Global Giving campaign. An additional six systems were built with funds from the coalition, and many of the overlapping costs were shared.

Here is the breakdown of the recently finished and still underway rainwater systems: 

  • Two new systems were built in the community of San Antonio de Lourdes (the community featured in the New York Times article).  This makes three systems for the community located in the local church, kindergarten, and elementary schools.
  • One system was built in the elementary school of San Cayetano,
  • One system in the church of la Norita del Refugio,
  • One system in the at the community church of Los Platanos,
  • One additional system in Rancho Nuevo where we built a system last year,
  • One system was just finished this week in the community of Villa Nueva,
  • Another system is just getting underway in the community of Adjuntas del Monte,
  • We are set to break ground on the final system of this round next week in the community of Las Liebres,
  • And finally, we’ve been able to distribute an additional 18 Caminos de Agua ceramic water filter systems (and are set to add several more when the final systems are finished), five of which went to a new biochar filtration system we are piloting at a local school where a rainwater harvesting cistern was not necessary. 

All of these communities have extremely limited or no direct water access and/or their water source is extremely contaminated with arsenic and fluoride.  As the rainy season begins here in central Mexico, these communities will be able to collect water free of arsenic and fluoride, purify that water through our ceramic filters, and enjoy a safe, healthy, and secure potable water source for the first time.   

To date, this means we have been able to:

  1. Build 21 rainwater harvesting cisterns, with the ability to store more than a quarter of a million liters of water,
  2. Install 50 ceramic water filters in community schools and homes,
  3. Providing safe and healthy drinking water to hundreds of people in 13 different communities. 

Moving forward, we would like to offer up a challenge to all of our Global Giving supporters.  In June and July of this year, Engineers Without Borders – University College of London chapter has committed to building at least an additional eight (8) rainwater systems with us in the homes of San Antonio de Lourdes (again, the community featured in the NYT article above). 

This community’s well dried up seven years ago and since then, they truck water in on their personal vehicles.  The closest water source is the most contaminated in the region – roughly 7 times the WHO recommendation for arsenic and 15 times above the limit for fluoride.

We would like to provide every family in this community with their own rainwater system so future generations won’t have to suffer these same health impacts.  It’s a large task, with roughly 80 families in the community, but given the different actors involved that we can leverage and share resources with, NOW is the time to donate and make an even greater impact.

The community is trained and ready to supply all of the labor.

We here at Caminos will provide the filters, education, technical support, and continued follow-up.

Engineers Without Borders – University College of London is providing additional educational opportunities, technical support, AND a large portion of the materials needed.

We need YOU to step up and provide the funds needed to expand our impact to every family in the community.

Let’s take advantage of the coming rains together and help an entire community and future generations sustainable access to safe and healthy drinking water.

Saludos,

Dylan Terrell
Executive Director, Caminos de Agua

Finished rainwater harvesting system at a school
Finished rainwater harvesting system at a school
Padre Zesati christens cistern in San Antonio
Padre Zesati christens cistern in San Antonio
Caminos staff inspects system in Los Platanos
Caminos staff inspects system in Los Platanos
Finished rainwater cistern at local kindergarten
Finished rainwater cistern at local kindergarten
Pascual Villafuerte works on San Cayetano cistern
Pascual Villafuerte works on San Cayetano cistern

Links:

Mar 1, 2016

Rainwater Harvesting Campaign: Ramping up again in 2016

Rainwater system in use at rural elementary school
Rainwater system in use at rural elementary school

Dear Global Giving Supporters, 

We have big news to kick off our first report of 2016.  Our organization, CATIS Mexico, recently changed its name to Caminos de Agua to better suit our mission and vision moving forward! Our dedication to providing clean and safe water for communities in rural Mexico has not changed in the slightest.  Now we just have a name that better promotes the work we do.  While CATIS Mexico is still one of our legal names, we will be using Caminos de Agua as our official name moving forward. 

We are floored by the excitement and support we have received down here in Mexico regarding the new name, and we hope all of you are excited by it as well! 

Now…on to the updates.

Closing out 2015, we were able to do so much more with the funds raised through Global Giving than we thought possible.  That is due in great part to the amazing communities we work with who provided all of the labor, sand, gravel, tools, and other materials for free. 

That said, since our last update, we have not brought in enough funds through Global Giving to do another rainwater system just yet.  However, that does not mean we are closing out this project!  The funds we do have will be added to a small grant received through our partner coalition – the Coalition in Defense of the Independence Watershed.  In our last coalition meeting, our community partners proposed cisterns in four communities: Los Platanos, Pozo Hondo, Rancho Nuevo, and San Antonio de la Lourdes.  Those last two names may sound familiar.  Both Ranch Nuevo and San Antonio were part of earlier rainwater projects through this Global Giving campaign.   There is so much need in these two communities and their dedication is awe-inspiring.  Thus, we are going back to start a new phase for these two communities, and we are planning on starting all four (4) of these new rainwater systems in March.

We need your help to get keep this moving!  The rainy season is right around the corner, and we need to take advantage now! There are hundreds of thousands of people – in more than 2,000 rural communities - in this region alone still suffering from water access and contamination concerns, and we are committed to getting them clean and safe drinking water through our proven system.  We are now looking for new sources of funding to continue this important work, but we hope all of our Global Giving donors will continue to have a loud voice in this project.  We want you to continue being part of this, and we have shown what we can accomplish with your support.  So, please, consider donating to this project, and/or telling your friends about this work.

I would like to end with a quick summary of what we have accomplished so far through this campaign:

1)    Increased our estimated impact by 30% of the original proposal due to the efforts of local communities themselves,

2)    Installed 14 rainwater-harvesting cisterns and 32 ceramic water filtration systems,

3)    These systems were installed in 24 community homes and 6 rural schools,

4)    Providing direct access to clean and safe drinking water to more than 300 people in 7 different communities.

We are continuing to increase our impact through any means possible, and we hope you will continue to help making that happen.  As always, thank you so much for your support in making this work happen.

 

Saludos,

Dylan

Dec 1, 2015

Rainwater Harvesting Campaign: Still Rolling Strong!

Community members of San Antonio celebrate!
Community members of San Antonio celebrate!

Greetings from CATIS Mexico,

We are excited to update all of our Global Giving supporters on the continued success of the rainwater harvesting installations!  With your support, combined with the generosity of the local communities, we have been able to extend the impact of this work well beyond what we initially thought possible! Since our last project report, we have built rainwater-harvesting systems in three new communities that desperately need safe and healthy water alternatives. Additionally, we’ve installed six more ceramic filter systems to accompany the rainwater cisterns.

First, here is a quick summary of everything we have accomplished to date:

  1. Installed 14 rainwater-harvesting cisterns, with integrated first-flush systems, in 7 rural communities throughout the region. We assumed the funding would only allow for 10 systems, but due to the communities’ involvement, we were able to build 4 more than originally anticipated.
  2. Provided 32 ceramic water filtration systems to accompany the rainwater-harvesting systems. These filters were placed in community centers, 6 schools, and 24 family homes.
  3. This means nearly 170,000 liters of rainwater storage and up to 768 liters of filtered water per day – providing clean drinking water to dozens of families, more than 100 kindergarten and elementary students, and overall will directly impact more than an estimated 300 people.
  4. We recently posted a video that highlights the first part of this project! Check it out at our project homepage here

 

Please read on for the current project updates:

The first new project occurred in the community of San Antonio de la Lourdes. This community’s drinking well collapsed not once – but twice – in the last 10 years due to the overexploitation of the groundwater from large-scale agricultural producers in the area. Members of the community have to travel to neighboring communities and collect from other sources to meet their water needs. One common source for the community has been a nearby agricultural spigot, which tested at the highest levels for both arsenic and fluoride seen in the region. The maximum allowable concentration for fluoride is 1.5 mg/L. This site tested at 23.4 mg/L. That’s more than 15 times the allowable limit! The rainwater system was built at the local community church (a roof with a large surface area to collect as much water as possible), and will provide arsenic and fluoride-free rainwater for the community. The two ceramic filtration systems were placed in the local community kindergarten and elementary schools – assuring that the children will have continued access to safe drinking water.

 After San Antonio, we moved to the community of Rancho Nuevo. This community receives water from a neighboring community well that is contaminated with fluoride at levels more than 4 times the maximum allowable limit. Again, the rainwater harvesting system was connected to the largest communal roof – the church – to maximize rainwater collection potential and the ceramic filter systems were placed in the local school.

The last project wrapped up just this past week in the community of Pozo Ademado, where fluoride levels have been rising rapidly and are currently at nearly 5 times above the allowable limit. Further, Pozo Ademado only receives water about once a week, and the community well often does not provide sufficient water to reach the families furthest away. The rainwater-harvesting system was built directly between the church and the local elementary school – utilizing the church’s large roof surface to collect the rainwater while making it easy for the elementary school to take water from the cistern and fill the ceramic water filtration systems placed in their classrooms. In is anticipated that rainwater collection cistern can be filled up to 4 or 5 times a year (again, given the large roof connected to it), allowing families throughout the community to take water home for filtration, cooking, and drinking.

Thank you so much for your support in making this work possible! And many thanks to all of the families who came out every day, working for free, to help create healthy and safe water access for their community.  With their support, we were able to increase the anticipated impact by nearly 30%. With continued support from donors like you, we can keep expanding the impact of this work and provide safe water to more and more people. Please, help us spread the word!

Sealing the inside of the cistern
Sealing the inside of the cistern
Finished cistern in Pozo Ademado
Finished cistern in Pozo Ademado
Taking out rainwater for the first time!
Taking out rainwater for the first time!
Community women mixing cement
Community women mixing cement
Gracias!
Gracias!
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.