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Team Peru - Summer 2013 & earlier

The EWB-USU Peru Team, in collaboration with The Chijnaya Foundation, has been aiding the Andean community of Tuni Grande to improve and augment their potable water supply and provide sustainable engineering solutions to improve the quality of life for members of Tuni Grande. The town is located near Pucará, in southern Peru, and is home to just under 400 residents. The community is mostly agricultural, with an obvious abundance of livestock. They mainly collect and sell milk from cattle, but also raise crops during the wet season. The community is also home to several families who earn income from local mines.

LLamas in the field

Alpacas grazing in Peruvian landscape

The principal drinkable water system for the entire community consists of an elevated storage tank fed by water pumped from a single well. Due to the slow recharge rate of the well, this process takes approximately three days. Consequently, water is supplied to the community just twice a week. During these distribution events, water is distributed to each household simultaneously via a branching pipeline. Additional water can be hand drawn from two other frequently used “community wells” located near the south side of the community.

Inspecting valves

Inspecting valves for community well

Assessment trips were made in March 2010 and August 2011 to gain an accurate idea of the community’s needs.  Detailed data were gathered on the community’s potable water system, including quantity and quality of sources and water use. The community members, especially the Water Committee, were regularly consulted and involved in data gathering and planning efforts.

TuniGrande group

The 2012 EWB group at Tuni Grande

Before the 2012 implementation trip, there was a large degree of disparity between the water received from this distribution system. The eastern end of the community received the vast majority of the water released during each event, and members on the western end of the community received little or nothing.

An implementation trip was made in August 2012. This time,Team Peru designed a new water supply system. The system used a mainline that crossed under the road in a much more direct path to the community. The new, larger, and centrally located main supply line as well as the three zone solution helped in reducing the inequity in water distribution.

Baby llama

Baby alpaca poses with EWB member