Water Distribution Project

Silvio Mayorga, Nicaragua

In 2016, Tufts EWB began working with the Nicaraguan village of Silvio Mayorga to build them a new water tower.  Prior to this project, the community primarily got their water from a mix of small wells and an old water tower.  However, the water from the wells had a very high concentration of calcium in it, and this had the potential to cause health issues.  Furthermore, the existing water tower only had the capacity to serve half the town a day, so members of the town had to alternate between using the water tower and using wells every day.  The water tower also didn’t reach all the houses in the town, and the tank couldn’t be filled up past about two thirds of its volume before the tower began to buckle.  Lastly, the rusted metal frame of the old water tower had cut into the plastic tank, and many of the repairs to the tank were done with materials that ended up contaminating the water.  

The members of Tufts EWB worked to brainstorm ways to help the community, and the final decision was to design and build a new water tower for the community.  After a few Covid-related bumps, construction was completed in May of 2021.  The new water tower can hold roughly three times as much water as the previous tank, can withstand extreme weather, and is much easier and safer to access when repairs were needed.  

In January 2024, the water tower was monitored and evaluated by three representatives of the EWB Nicaragua County Office. Water quality tests at the tower and household level were done to ensure the functionality and safety of the tower. Interviews were conducted with the people of  Silvio Mayorga which determined that they were very satisfied with EWB’s work and that the new installation had a positive impact on their community. Currently, Tufts EWB is working on adding a water chlorinator to further improve the quality of the water that is distributed to the Silvio Mayorga community. 

Meetings on Mondays at 9 PM in Anderson 208

The Latin America chapter is beginning a project in the Villa el Carmen region of Nicaragua, an hour and a half outside Managua. We are partnering with Reserva Silvestre Quelantaro, a wildlife refuge working on environmental protection and sustainable development in Nicaragua. We plan to build a water system for the community including a pump, storage tank, and distribution system.