How can we provide safe and sustainable water access in rural communities?
To see how WSP's partnership with Water for People is making a difference on the ground, we visited a community in the Arbieto distict in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The goal is not just to provide access to water, but to ensure it’s sustainable for communities where proper infrastructure and resources are often nonexistent.
Most of the time, underground water is pumped in a reservoir located at the top of a water tower. Chlorine is then added to the water to disinfect it. There is no other significant filtration processes involved. The treatment is very basic. Underground water is generally cleaner than surface water and chlorination is often sufficient to kill most of the pathogens Water is finally supplied to every household through a piping system that is managed by the community.
By talking to the people directly impacted, I learned so much about what it really takes to ensure the sustainability of these projects. Every municipality has to set up a water committee to support communities with water system operation and maintenance, oversight of water and sanitation projects, and provision of health and hygiene education.
From a personal standpoint, I was really impressed to see how everybody involved in the projects was truly dedicated to the cause. I strongly believe that a collective effort combined with a well-structured model really is the key to success.