Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 12: Mapping the Water System

One of the projects I have been working on here besides moving rubble is getting a complete map of the Leogane water system. Leogane and its surrounding towns have not had water for two and a half years. On Thursday, myself and a couple other volunteers will be presenting to DINEPA (Direction Nationale de L'Eau Potable et de L'Assainissement), the Haitian government agency in charge of potable water distribution.

We came into this particular project knowing very little about the water system here. While many cities in the USA would probably have some sort of blueprint detailing all of the features of the water system, the only map of Leogane's water systems exists in one guy's head. Homer (pron. O-mare), the "City Plumber" is the guy, and we've been relying on him for all of the information we've been collecting. Homer, who has been working for the city of Leogane for 25 years knows the exact location of all the underground intracies of the system

In order to build a complete map of Leogane's water systems we have been making full use of the survey GPS equipment donated by the Trimble corporation on which I wrote about training. Walking the streets with Homer, GPS in hand we can locate within centimeters the exact coordinates for each of the system's valves, bends, and joints.

Our efforts have allowed for the very first time this system to be documented outside of Homer's head. Early next week we should be able to finish with the mapping and have enough data to draft our proposal for DINEPA.

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