AIDG is a NonGovernmental Organization (NGO) that helps provide low technology solutions to help address environmental and health needs to people living in communities without great access to the systems that many of us consider requirements.

Here are a few of their water-based initiatives:

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Solar Hot Water:

XelaTeco, with support from AIDG’s wonderful interns, recently installed a solar water heating system and water tower for La Guarderia, a childcare center in Llanos del Pinal, Guatemala. La Guarderia was started by two non-profit organizations, Pop Wuj and Jóvenes Juntos, who saw the need for daycare and after school homework assistance in a community plagued by poverty, domestic violence and alcoholism.

Jóvenes Juntos requested the hot water system to promote healthy hygiene practices amongst the children served by center, particularly in the cold winter months. The presence of hot water is expected to reduce the occurrence of skin ailments, such as scabies and other rashes. This segment of the project was funded by AIDG.

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Ram Pump
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As the water runs downhill from the source to the ram pump, it gains force and velocity. When this velocity reaches a determined point, the water closes a valve in the ram pump known as the “impulse” or “waste” valve. The force of the water against the now closed impulse valve causes pressure to build inside the pump. The water sends high-pressure shock waves in all directions (the “water hammer,” or “ariete” in Spanish, from which the pump gets its Spanish name, “Bomba de Ariete”). These shock waves open another valve, the delivery check valve, and water squirts through reaching altitudes of up to ten times greater than the vertical distance from the water’s source to the pump. An air vessel installed in the pump acts as a kind of regulator which keeps the flow at the top steady, instead of delivered in bursts, as the pump internally functions

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Sand Filtration:

Properly managed sand filters remove 96%-98% of water borne pathogens such as E. Coli and Giardia, producing a positive significant impact on the health of target users. The greatest effect is expected for young children, who are extremely susceptible to diarrheal diseases caused by exposure to contaminated water. Diarrheal disease causes approximately 2 million deaths per year among children in developing countries.

The World Health Organization has some good documentation on sand filtration technology.

To find out more about AIDG, check out their blog and their photos.