The Cerro Verde community in Ecuador has about 45 families and a population of approximately 225 people. The community’s main economic activity is farming corn in the rainy season. Some in the community travel into nearby Rocafuerte City to work in construction. Subsistence farming and raising small livestock are also common.

Currently the community does not have a nearby water source. There is a cistern centrally located in the community. Water to fill the cistern is purchased and delivered to the community. The EWB-USA Atlanta Professional Chapter will work with the community and EIA to engineer a solution that will help to provide a sustainable and safe supply of water to the community.

Project Assessment

The EWB Atlanta team traveled to Ecuador in April 2018 to assess the water supply in the community of Cerro Verde. The EWB team partnered with the NGO, Engineers in Action (EIA) including a project manager and a translator who accompanied us on this trip.

The primary focus of the trip was to collect the data to better understand the community’s water supply challenges and to initiate a partnership with the community and the local municipality. As part of the assessment the team collected the following data.

  • Topographic survey data
  • GPS data
  • Water sample testing
  • Community survey data regarding household water supply and quality
  • Supply and cost of local materials and services to implement potential solutions
  • Contact information for key individuals in the community and the municipality

Implementation and Monitoring

The short-term goal of this project is to install biosand filters in each of the homes in the Cerro Verde community. We will also work with the community to institute a Water Management Board to help manage water quality and availability. The Water Management Board will be a point of contact for EWB, the local NGO, and the municipality to implement future water improvement initiatives.

Further monitoring and communication with the community will help solidify goals for a long-term solution to bring a reliable source of clean water to Cerro Verde.