Jason Schneider, U.S. Engineering Construction Operations Director, recently traveled to Guatemala as part of an ongoing project with Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Jason is vice president of the Rocky Mountain Professional Chapter of EWB, a group of diverse individuals who work together around a common goal in hopes to build a better world through engineering projects.
The project is in the community of Buena Vista Sechum. During the dry season, the community has unreliable water availability due to a small storage tank, a singular spring source, and undersized piping from the spring. The goal for the project is to help connect a new spring to the community’s existing water system and improve the water distribution, storage, and supply so that the system can better support the community and its future population growth.
Clean water is crucial for drinking, food production, recreation, and domestic use. Improving water supply and managing water resources can increase a country’s economic growth and contribute to reducing poverty.
During the week Jason was in Guatemala, he worked as a consultant. A few of his roles included hosting community resilience surveys, meeting with the local water committee, discussing the budget, helping with design questions, recording pressure readings, and measuring water flow at various parts of the water system. Jason and the team have worked on the project for about two-and-a-half years, and the overall project will take about four years.
A PHASED APPROACH
The project has two phases:
This experience has given Jason a new appreciation for clean water and how it improves our lives and our health. He reflects, “The people of Guatemala are extremely accommodating and friendly. Through the help of this organization, people are able to have water resources to do simple things like washing hands and dishes, while also growing food locally for their family. Having an unlimited supply of clean and safe water is easy for us to take for granted, and it should be something that we strive to provide across the globe.”
EWB is always looking for volunteers. If you are interested or want to learn more about the organization, please click here.