October 18, 2007


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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Drive your tractor two miles down the mountain. Fill your water barrels. Drive your tractor back up the mountain. Repeat daily as needed for six months.

Residents of El Porvenir, Nicaragua, have relied on this procedure for years to survive the six-month dry season. The 52 families need the water not only for their cleaning, drinking, cooking and bathing needs, but also for the organic coffee co-op that provides much of the village's income.

Presentation Oct. 23
Two Bucknell University students and three members of the engineering faculty will give a presentation Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. in Rooke Chemistry Auditorium (Room 116) describing their efforts to bring potable water to El Porvenir as part of the students' senior engineering design project. The presentation is free to the public.

Senior Ashley Curry and junior Ryo Sueda will lead the discussion, which includes civil and environmental engineering professors Mike Toole and Charles Kim, and lab director George Waltman.

100 Projects for Peace

The project, funded in part by the 100 Projects for Peace program, involves installing a water pump and pipeline at the base of a mountain to pump potable water to the top of the mountain. El Porvenir is the location of the worker-owned coffee cooperative where the Bucknell Brigade gets its organic fair trade coffee to sell on campus.

The project began a year ago with a visit by Toole and Kim to El Porvenir, where they investigated the area for the pipeline. The Bucknell professors met with residents of El Porvenir and representatives of the Center for Development in Central America (CDCA) near Nueva Vida, the community outside Nicaragua that has been assisted by the Bucknell Brigade volunteer project for several years.

Last spring, Bucknell engineering students completed the design of the pump, pump house and pipeline system, traveling with the Brigade in January and March to gather information. Another student delegation returned to Nicaragua in June to construct the water pump, motor and a masonry pump house. The next steps in the project include installing the pipeline, devising a way to power the motor, and finding a way to deliver electricity to the village. The project is slated for completion in 2008.

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To read a student account of this project, visit http://www.bucknell.edu/x38539.xml

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Oct. 18, 2007

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