Aqua Terra Tech Enterprise new project is aimed at creating
water security in the small Nicaraguan town of Boaco.
The rural community of 34,000, located in a country that for much of its
recent past was embroiled in conflict with U.S.-backed warlords and still
bears the economic scars, relies on water from a polluted river and one
Combined these two sources are only able to supply about one-third
of the community demand, so residents have running water only a few hours
per day, a couple of days per week. Getting more water is problematic
because the underlying aquifers are in volcanic rocks, so the production
of a well depends on the density and distribution of subsurface fractures.
When fractures are far and few between, the water in a fracture is
depleted quickly and refills slowly.
As a result, of some 40 wells that
have been drilled in the area, only two produce water that can
significantly contribute the city's needs. A solution for increasing the
success of new wells: use the latest subsurface (geophysical) testing
techniques to find more fractures for siting new wells.
This December, Aqua Terra sent nine of its members to Nicaragua for twelve
The team members studied the terrain and performed as many
geophysical surveys as time and sight conditions permitted. The collected
data will provide ample material to work on during the following
semesters. The trip is made possible by a National Science Foundation
grant that provides the team with the means to work on the project for the
next five years, with annual trips to the project site.
Aqua Terra team
hopes to accomplish similar projects in other areas facing water problems
throughout Central America.
Details about Aqua Terra Tech