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Buckets of Water News!

When it rains it pours, and that’s a very good thing here in the Amazon! Our water program continues to grow and improve. We’ve just completed our last two water treatment plants for 2013, bringing the total to 31 Adopt-A-School communities provided with this vital life resource. In October community water plants were completed in Santa Lucia (thanks to donors Amazon Amigos and the Clode family) and in Juancho Playa (thanks to James Humphrey). Along with our Sawyer pilot project and other point-of-use systems, there are now 35 villages with access to clean drinking water. These have been provided by donors from around the world in partnership with CONAPAC and our participating communities.
The Sawyer pilot project for 2013 is coming to a close. Earlier this year we provided small, point-of-use systems in three communities on a trial basis. Families were asked to use them and then decide after six months to either return them or pay a small fee to keep them. We placed 61 units—six in classrooms and the rest to family homes. The results have been quite positive, with families reporting good results and satisfaction with the taste and quality of the water. About 90% of the families have agreed to keep and pay for the systems. In the meantime, our University of Colorado student audit team has filed the first of three reports from this summer’s visit. The Sawyer report came in with mixed results. Although the system itself is easy to use and effective, there is still a need for families to consistently process water appropriately. The student auditors found that not all families seem to fully understand what this proper process is, thus it is clear that more training, education, and reinforcement is needed. The new monitoring program for 2014 will address this and allow for the time and money to return to villages for a refresher course.
Tower construction
Completed tower at Santa Lucia

Just in! Thanks to one of our long-standing donor partners, Saga Charitable Trust, we now have funding for a formal monitoring program which we will implement in 2014. What does this mean? For the first time, we will have money designated solely for the purpose of visiting water plants on a regular basis, meeting with operators and community leaders, training operators, and testing water quality. In the past, we’ve done what we could for follow up with savings from our primary construction costs. This was always a poor way to run a consistent monitoring program. Now, with money for a staffer and gas for our boats, we can set up a regular visitation schedule plus host our comprehensive operator training workshop for all operators at the first of the year. Through our various partners who have provided pilot money and the insight of our students from the University of Colorado, we can now say we have a truly sustainable, resilient oversight program. This will allow us to be sure all current water plants, and any new ones coming on line in 2014, will be properly supported to the highest level possible.
The filtering system

Santa Lucia banner: "Take care of your health. Drink clean, safe water."

Next up? The annual audits for operators and the communities systems. Results will be reported in the next newsletter.
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Special thanks to Saga Charitable Trust, UK, Life Source Fellowship, Denver, CO, and Adopt A Village International, Colorado Springs, CO.
CONAPAC is a Peruvian non-profit organization whose mission is to promote conservation of the rainforest through education of its stewards, the people who live along the Amazon and Napo Rivers. Our centerpiece project is the Adopt-A-School program, which is strengthened by workshops and complemented by service and sustainable projects in river communities.