Triangles in Water

The ‘Triangles in Water’ Initiative is part of the strategy followed by the Center for International Voluntary Service (CeVI) to promote mutual cooperation agreements between all actors committed to defending the right to water. In a meeting between CeVI’s partners in Bolivia and Brazil, the team at the Fundación Abril learned about the “1 Million Cisterns Program” which advances social technologies for rainwater harvesting in semi-arid parts of Brazil, and decided to try to transfer this technology to semi-arid areas of Valle Alto (the High Valley) in Cochabamba.

The rainy season in Valle Alto is concentrated over a few months of the year and often causes flooding which severely damages crops and land. In the other months, drought is an even more important problem: over-exploitation of groundwater and reduced rainfall due to climate change are leading the region to a disturbing water crisis.

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The ‘Triangles in Water’ Project set out to improve the availability of water resources in the municipalities of Arbieto, Cliza, Toco and Tarata, in Valle Alto by spreading rainwater harvesting technology using cisterns (semi-buried water tanks). The initiative involved extensive educational, instructional, and training activities, as well as research conducted with the support of the Universidad Mayor San Simon to adapt the Brazilian approach to the unique geographic, climatic, economic, and social characteristics of the beneficiary communities.

The Fundación Abril facilitated discussions between local and regional authorities, social organizations, and the communities focusing on the sustainable management of water resources in the area. The Fundación Abril also facilitated the extended visit to Valle Alto of multiple highly-experienced members of the 1 Million Cisterns Program in Brazil to further the technological and social exchange.

The most important aim was in the construction, through the community work, of 9 tanks for rainwater harvesting in the localities of Villa Flor de Pukara (Toco), Arbieto, Flores Rancho (Cliza), Tarata, Milloma, and the San Pedro Magisterio neighborhood (Sacaba).

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