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Published on 30/11/2021

Outdated infrastructure caused thousands of gallons of water to be lost

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Old and leaky water infrastructure in the community of San Antonio Las Nubes, Chiantla, Huehuetenango caused an estimated loss of 96 thousand gallons of water per year, yet many families lacked the liquid at home. “Pipes were at least 60 years old” said Juan Aurelio Tizol, of the community water commission.

Juan Aurelio Tizol, inspects new water distribution tank´s meter and pipes.

USAID and CRS´s Communities Leading Development (CLD) project provided support to repair and rehabilitate the community water system in its phase I of construction with involved participation from the municipality of Chiantla and community members. Phase I improvements involved building distribution tanks, installing equipment for receiving water and new distribution tank pipes, regulating water pressure, and disinfecting water which significantly reduced water loss and improved water quality.

New infrastructure significantly reduced water waste

“I estimate that at least 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water were being literally wasted per day. But now I am satisfied that we are taking better care of our water, we want to conserve our water for future generations. This is a wise investment.”. – Juan Aurelio Tizol, of the community water commission in San Antonio Las Nubes.

Community resource mobilization was key as they contributed $38,854 of the cost of the project; also, the municipality contributed $22,848 in materials, environmental processes, and involvement of municipal technical offices. Private sector leverage added $21,251 and CLD provided finance of $57,151 for a total amount of $140,106 for the project. A total of 83 families, representing 432 users (215 women) have improved their access and availability of safe potable water.

Water beneficiary in San Antonio Las Nubes

“We committed to contribute with our labor and building materials because we desperately needed to fix our old system, it was sad to see all that water being lost”. – Victor Garcia, president of the Community Development Council (COCODE) in San Antonio Las Nubes. 

Phase II of the water project is underway and focused on repairing home distribution lines and installation of household meters which will eliminate water wastage.  The community alongside CLD strive to strengthen the local water governance and ensure optimal maintenance and operation of community water systems to achieve sustainable water service delivery and assure adequate hygiene conditions for COVID-19 prevention efforts.