Previously, one of the only water sources in the community was a river contaminated with waste and agricultural chemicals. In the 1990s, the Municipality of San Rafael del Norte identified a good quality and quantity of a mountain spring water source to build a water system off of. At the time there were no issues breaking ground on the project since the land had been fully donated by the landowner, Jesus Maria Tinoco Pineda, to the Municipality. Pineda knew the water needs that communities in the surrounding area had and because of that, donated the land. Despite this promising beginning, lack of financing and a budget from the Municipality led to the project’s halt for almost 20 years.
Water System Solution
It was not until September 2016 that the project officially re-started after a partnership was formed between San Gabriel and four other communities, Global Brigades Nicaragua, the Municipality of San Rafael del Norte, and Water for People. In order to plan a water system custom-designed for the 5 communities, the land was first surveyed by the Municipality of San Rafael del Norte.
From this land survey, it was determined that the best fit for these communities would be to take water from a spring source to the households by gravity. The gravity-based system has one storage tank of 5,500 cubic meter capacity. A concrete water catchment was constructed to collect water from the spring mountain source. From there, nine kilometers of trenches were dug with the pipeline laid. The system was designed to then conduct water by gravity to the storage tank, where it would be held and treated, before flowing through sixteen kilometers of distribution pipeline to every community member’s household. The water system would supply the communities of Sabana de en Medio, La Joya, Cuatro Esquinas, Mesa del Ocote, and San Gabriel through the projected 20-year lifespan of the project.
In addition to construction, San Gabriel mobilized to form a CAPS (Comité de Agua Potable y Sanitación/ Water and Sanitation Committee). Over the course of eight months of construction, 816 Global Brigades volunteers worked alongside the committee and community members to construct a system that now reaches 221 families and 921 beneficiaries. Before the project’s completion, a capacity test of the well was completed and demonstrated an average of 46 gallons per minute.
Water Project Stages
All stages of this water project have been completed.