Drink Clean, Nicaragua
I am planning a trip down to the Nicaragua region to bring 100 filters to communities in need. Please help fund my project and W4W will send me the filters once my goal is reached. I will be sure to come back and write up a full report on my journey with pictures and videos of the implementation and stories from the field. Your generous donation will help this poverty stricken region get the clean water they desperately need to survive a somewhat normal existence. Please see the Water Assessment Report below. ~ Thank you
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, with one of the highest annual growth rates in Latin America. Access to water and sanitation facilities is inadequate, particularly in the east where the population is sparse. This inadequacy of water services contributes to poor living conditions, disease, and a high mortality rate.
Nicaragua's surface water is contaminated and not developed for water supply. The major source of surface water contamination is from untreated domestic and industrial waste disposal, as most effluent is released into the rivers and coastal areas without any treatment. Little regulation exists that addresses waste discharge and disposal.
Given the rainfall and abundant water resources, there is adequate water to meet the water demands, but proper management to develop and maintain the water supply requirements is lacking. Major problems in water management are the lack of a national water sector and the lack of a national water law. A national water law is before Congress now, but has not been passed.
Deforestation, with its devastating environmental consequences, is a serious problem. Deforestation accelerates soil erosion, decreases the amount of recharge to aquifers by increasing surface runoff, damages barrier reefs and ecosystems, increases turbidity which affects mangroves, decreases agricultural production, and causes problems and increased maintenance of water systems and impoundments. Decades of land abuse and environmental neglect exacerbated the devastation of Hurricane Mitch (1998), in which deforestation played a major role. As a result of the polluted surface water, ground water is heavily relied upon for water supply.
The water resources situation of the country is critical and of great concern. Many reasons for this include:
Uneven rainfall distribution; Degradation of the watersheds caused by an extremely high rate of deforestation; No single agency responsible for management of water resources; Lack of waste-water collection and treatment, and proper solid waste disposal; Poor water resources management; Lack of adequate data needed to make informed decisions; Poor irrigation supply network leading to underdevelopment of sector; Rapid growth in urban areas increasing demand beyond system capacity; Lack of a national water law to protect and preserve the resources; and Poor distribution networks. Critical issues are the lack of access to water and sanitation, the extensive environmental damage caused by rampant deforestation, the lack of a national water sector and a comprehensive and enforceable water law. Solutions to these issues present significant challenges to the managers of the water resources of Nicaragua. The lack of policy and the lack of a water law constitute one of the largest weaknesses in managing the water resources. This results in uncontrolled exploitation and use of the water. The impacts to downstream users from surface water withdrawals upstream are not measured due to lack of regulation on withdrawals.
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