EWB Project Helps Improve Irrigation in PeruEngineers Without Borders (EWB) recently implemented an irrigation project in Compone, Peru. On June 1st a team of 7 undergraduate students, a faculty advisor, and a professional mentor traveled to the Andean community of Compone to help construct improvements to the community's main irrigation channel.
Compone is a community of about 1200, who rely mainly on subsistence agriculture to provide for themselves. An assessment of their irrigation network in August 2010 showed evidence of losses of water greater than 200,000 liters per day through the bottom of the main channel alone. With water being the source of their livelihood, conservation has become a priority.
Over the fall 2010 and spring 2011 semesters students worked with faculty and professionals to design and test a low-cost soil-cement lining and more efficient water diversion structures for Compone's main irrigation channel. With the implementation, students were able to see the impact of their hard efforts. The team used only local materials and tools to help the community construct 30 meters of the 1.3km channel, empowering Compone with the technical knowledge and experience to expand the soil-cement to the remainder of the irrigation network.
Future work in Compone will focus on bringing the community access to potable water.
Published June 28, 2011