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This World Water Day Let’s Celebrate the Pipeline for Life

Mar 2016

You take it for granted, until you don’t have it. Like many West Virginians after the 2014’s Elk River chemical spill. Or the citizens of Flint, Michigan. Or people in too many rural communities across the globe.

It’s water, and water is essential for life.

In recognition of World Water Day, the United Nations is shining a spotlight on the 1.5 billion people who work in water-related sectors. Like farmers, fisherman, municipal water and sanitation workers – and many people who work for and with Water Engineers for the Americas (WEFTA).

The Vinyl Institute has partnered with WEFTA, a nongovernmental organization, on the Pipeline for Life project. As part of the project, people in selected villages dig trenches and install PVC pipe in order to bring clean, running water to families living there.

WEFTA’s Andrew Robertson recently provided an update on the NGO’s work in Honduras. He told the VI that WEFTA is currently building new water systems in Monquecagua and Llano Largo.

  • In Monquecagua, WEFTA is teaming up with Geologos del Mundo and Honduras Ministry to complete a water project seeded by the Vinyl Institute and the American Chemistry Council’s Chlorine Chemistry Division. The Phase 2 project team, along with villagers, has started work installing two storage tanks / chlorine basins. Phase 3 of the project will consist of an all-new PVC distribution network to the 380 families in Monquecagua.
  • In Llano Largo, WEFTA has started to field-design a 10.6 mile, gravity-fed pipeline that will carry 66 gallons per minute of water from a natural spring in the mountains down to the village. This will be the first time that Llano Largo has fresh water. The spring catchment and main pipeline will be Phase 1 of the project; Phase 2 will consist of   storage tanks / chlorine contact basins for Llano Largo and two surrounding communities. Phase 3 will consist of PVC distribution networks for the three communities – a combined population of approximately 1,080 people.

According to Robertson, Llano Largo suffers “the most extreme hardship, in terms of water, that I have ever seen. There is no water system here at all. No one here owns a car, so they have to carry water in 5-gallon buckets ((read: 40 lbs), either on foot or by donkey.”

On World Water Day, let’s celebrate the water we have – and give thanks for the PVC pipes that carry the clean water we need for life.