Agricultural and Community Water Management
In the 1980s, the community had been the beneficiary of a project which constructed an irrigation canal. But after only a couple years the canal fell into disuse and was abandoned. An initial survey of the canal with members of the community disclosed that the banks had been overgrown with vegetation and in some places there were cracks in the concrete lining of the canal. A joint decision was taken to make a more detailed assessment of what steps would be required to put the canal back into operation.
An initial assessment of the potable water system identified several areas which needed attention. One area of concern was the unprotected water sources and storage tank on the mountain sides above the community. Another area of concern was the condition of the water pipes and control valves which distributed water within the community.
The Chijnaya Foundation approached the Engineers Without Borders at Utah State University about providing assistance to the community to improve the potable water system and put the irrigation canal back in operation. The Engineers Without Borders team traveled to Chijnaya and worked with Chijnaya Foundation representatives and the community in preparing an assessment of the two water systems and recommendations for actions to be taken by the community.
As a result of the Chijnaya community's implementing the recommendations, vegetation has been removed from the canal banks and the concrete lining has been repaired. Water now flows in the canal and farmers are using it for the first time in more than twenty years.
The community has also implemented most of the recommendations for the potable water system. They have protected the water sources and storage tank which will help assure the community of a safe water supply.
These improvements have greatly increased the quantity and quality of water available to Chijnaya. The additional improvement needed in the management of the irrigation and potable water systems are being considered by the Chijnaya community leadership.
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