CONAPAC WATER PROGRAM
COMMUNITY WATER TREATMENT PLANTS
- Until recently, most children in the villages along the Amazon and Napo Rivers consumed water directly from rivers, streams and ponds, and many still do. This water contains many parasites and bacteria that cause them to be become ill and malnourished.
- In 2008, CONAPAC built its first community water treatment plant. Since then, over 30 community water plants have been built in villages along the Amazon and Napo Rivers. Our simple four-stage filter system is assembled in Iquitos with readily available parts. Filters, tubes, tanks, and related materials are transported by boat to the community for final installation. Community members work with our professional concrete tower contractor. Some of the water plants have rain catchment systems or have elevated floors in areas where yearly flooding is expected.
SAWYER PointONE™ INDIVIDUAL CLASSROOM AND FAMILY SYSTEMS
- Finding solutions for providing clean drinking water to remote places is not a simple or easy process, nor is there only one answer. Although there are many rural river communities that have benefited from community water plants, not all are good candidates for this large and relatively expensive option.
- In 2013, CONAPAC facilitated a pilot project using Sawyer PointONE™ water filtration systems, placing them in individual homes in three rainforest communities. In 2014, we initiated the Sawyer Classroom Project, setting up Sawyer filter systems in 179 classrooms in schools along the Amazon and Napo Rivers. As new schools come on line we provide each classroom with these filter systems.
- The Sawyer Family Program for individual home use was initiated in 2015. Since the filter can be used over and over, a limitless supply of potable water can be produced each day for each family's individual needs.
- Our donor base has enthusiastically supported both these clean water programs. Opening new community water plants and delivering Sawyer systems is fun and rewarding for all--but that’s just the beginning. To make water programs truly sustainable continued operator training, community organization, water testing and general monitoring must regularly be performed as community members slowly take on the ultimate responsibility of clean drinking water.
- In 2015 CONAPAC developed a new water monitoring program called Adopt-A-Drop. Patterned after our Adopt-A-School program, donors support regular monitoring by adopting a community water plant. This money is pooled to support all monitoring of our water programs—community water plants and Sawyer Classroom and Sawyer Family systems. Water specialists from our staff make regular visits, test water, host workshops, train operators and teachers, teach troubleshooting techniques. They also encourage community leadership to keep organized records and maintain monthly payment collections.
For more information about how these systems work and how you can help, contact us.