Colonia Profile - Water Well


Water in the Colonia before and after the La Union Well

For the past several months we have been raising money for and building our new well. But we thought it important to explain what life is like now and what it will be like after our work is complete.

Water in the colonia is a precious resource. Most families have at least one 55-gallon barrel (but more commonly 2-4) for water storage. Currently the municipal water authority (COMAPA) sends trucks to refill these storage containers. The water is good for use in washing, bathing, and non-human consumption purposes. However, these truck deliveries are intermittent at best. When the trucks do not come they ration out the water over the month. A resident we know well described how his family copes during a recent conversation. He said for his family of 6 each person gets 1.5 gallons of clean water per day for cleaning and personal hygiene. In comparison, an average American uses between 80-100 galloons a day. For things like washing clothes, his wife uses a neighbors shallow well, even though the water is contaminated.

Other families use the canal water. Several families have hand pumps and they carry the water to their homes. This water can be of questionable quality, but for the most part can be used for clothes washing and bathing. Water for cooking, drinking and washing of dishes can either be purchased (5 gallons for 10 pesos) or obtained from the well head of the La Napolera well by David and Luzma’s house. The water is clean and pure at the well head, but loses its purity as it travels down the distribution pipelines.

For the past few months, COMAPA has only been able to manage one delivery of water a month due to water line breaks in Reynosa which have kept the employees otherwise occupied. So the type of rationing mentioned above has been common. The director of COMAPA has a heart for the poor and desires make sure the colonia residents have access to good water. Thus, he has partnered with us for the well and pipeline projects. He covered part of the cost of drilling the well and will be providing the backhoes for the pipeline project.

The new well at La Union will enable the families to have a constant supply of water. Once we install water lines, the families will have water at the edge of their lot. They will be able to get water at these points or connect to their water storage containers. If they elevate the storage containers, the water pressure would be sufficient to have running water in their homes.

The homes serviced by the La Union well would be the first to have constant access to water. Our other well, at La Nopalera, is run off solar energy and we can only run the pump an average of six hours a day when the sun is shining. Given this well services over 300 households, we only have sufficient flow for each household to obtain 200 to 300 gallons per week. A typical American household uses 200-400 gallons per day for a household of 4. David Garcia’s son currently monitors this distribution to ensure everyone receives their allotted share.

If we upgrade the electrical at the La Nopalera well, we could run the pumps enough for there to be a sufficient supply. The cost for this upgrade is $5,000. After we finish installing the distribution pipelines at the La Union well, this will be our fundraising focus.

That said, we first still need to raise $3,000 for the materials for the distribution pipeline at the La Union well. We estimate we need 3,000 feet of pipe at $1 a foot. Please prayerfully consider giving. You can do so on our website (www.therohifoundaiton.org) or via Paypal (rohifoundation@earthlink.net).

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