Hope in the Amazon (Source: Civil + Structural Engineer)

Sep 1, 2019

By Jennifer Roath

The Amazon River basin is the largest in the world, spanning 40 percent of South America and discharging an average 55 million gallons of water per second into the Atlantic Ocean. When the Amazon River flows out of Peru, it only has one-fifth of the final discharge, yet it is still greater than any other river in the world. Despite this massive water resource, industrial and agricultural runoff, combined with insufficient sanitation practices, have unfortunately contaminated the region’s water supply.

Without access to water treatment systems, the 105 inhabitants of Mariscal Castilla, a small Peruvian village located at the headwaters of the Amazon, send family members to the river each day to fetch buckets of water. After drinking this water, they often suffer from debilitating water-born illnesses, leading to missed work or school. Starting in 2017, a team from Engineers Without Borders Central Houston Professional Chapter worked with this village to address its needs and provide a sustainable alternative to drinking untreated stream water.