Potential Future Projects

Valle las Perlas, Panama

A beautiful small indigenous Ngobe community of approximately 300 residents, located within Bocas del Toro, Panama has an aqueduct which is approximately 10 years old. The community has grown and the current aqueduct can not handle the capacity of water flow it currently needs. Water is more likely to arrive through the aqueduct for a few hours a day if it has been raining heavily, but otherwise many houses often can go a day or two without receiving any water. This causes many families to seek out water in streams and creeks, which are not fit for drinking and often cause health issues, especially in children.

The community already has a water committee that knows how to charge monthly usage fees, repair damaged and broken tubing, clean the storage tank and handle all general maintenance of the aqueduct once it is built.

The proposed project is to find a new source of water and build a new storage tank. We recently tested the quantity of water flowing from the water source and found that we could fill a 5 gallon bucket in about 1.5 minutes. The water committee remembers that when the aqueduct was first built they could fill the same 5 gallons in less than 5 seconds. The current storage tank measures 11 feet 10 inches x 11 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, with 8 inch thick walls. Using our rough campo calculations we figure this to hold a capacity of about 3,000 gallons. Reasoning that each person should ideally have access to around 30 gallons of water a day (MINSAs recommendation), means we would currently need a storage tank of around 9,000. While we are not professional planners, we assume that the population will continue to grow, and a storage tank of around 15,000 gallons would accommodate present and future needs.

Yarvicoya, Bolivia

The community of Yaricoya belongs to the municipality of Bolivar in the department of Cochabamba; which is one of the 30 poorest municipalities in Bolivia. This puts Yaricoya in one of the poorest counties in the poorest country of South America. Yaricoya is an indigenous community located in a valley in the Andes Mountains 12,071 feet above sea level. The community has a basic electric system that feeds only a few homes. It currently does not have a working potable water distribution system. Their main water source is a river that runs through the town. Unfortunately the river is downstream from the main town of Bolivar; which means it is contaminated, and the people in the community have no way of purifying it. Due to the fact that Yaricoya is located close to a river with seasonal flow, access to the community is extremely limited during the rainy season (Oct. - March).

This project will consist of planning, engineering and building a potable water system for Yarvicoya, which may or may not mean the drilling of a well. A second, follow-up, project that they would like us to consider is improving their irrigation system. The project will benefit 35 families without potable water access.

Upcoming Events

Monthly Chapter Meeting

Thursday, August 2st, 2019 at 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Location: Halff Associates, 1201 N Bowser Rd, Richardson, TX 75081 (
Topic: This month's meeting will be over a Engineering Service Corps project funded by USAID to assist coffee co-ops in Honduras. How can a U.S. engineer make a better, cheaper cup of coffee? Come and find out about life and the coffee business in rural Honduras.

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North Texas Professional Chapter T-Shirts are now available. Help support our chapter by buying one at our monthly meeting! Available in sizes S to XXL.