Puerto Rico Water System Donations

Photos: Lorenzo Moscia

On October 15th, 2017 the collaborative IHS-Roddenberry Foundation-MIT Lincoln Laboratory Away Team deployed to Puerto Rico in response to Hurricane Maria, bringing our Water Aid and Renewable Power (WARP) system. The WARP system provides solar power and clean water in a very small and robust package specifically designed for disaster response. The Away Team surveyed several regions around the island including Utuado, a rural region called Sector 315, Arecibo, San Juan, and Loiza, as well as a helicopter survey of the remote island of Culebra, looking for sites in greatest need.

After our own field surveys, plus discussions with FEMA, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and staff from the public and private sector in Puerto Rico, we settled on a site at the Boys and Girls Club in Loiza, roughly an hour east of San Juan. The Boys and Girls Clubs were established in the US in 1860 and they continue to have a central role in Puerto Rico. They serve as a refuge and support for the kids in their communities, and we found the one in Loiza an excellent fit.

 

We chose Loiza because it's a community challenged on several levels. Their incomes are the lowest in Puerto Rico, their unemployment the highest, and their infrastructure exceptionally fragile. Hurricane Irma destroyed their power, and two weeks later Hurricane Maria destroyed their drinking water and their homes. When we opened our tap on October 22nd Loiza had been without water or power for a month.   

Our system in Loiza is producing 850 gallons a day, saving over 1 MILLION plastic bottles of water per year. The need for more systems is clear, and contaminated water is already causing outbreaks of waterborne illness. We have been asked to install a WARP system in every one of the remaining 12 Boys and Girls Clubs around the island, and the additional twelve systems would save over 15 MILLION water bottles per year. FEMA has already delivered more than 50 million plastic bottles. Imagine where all those empty bottles will end up...

If you'd like to help us install more of these systems, we'd love your donation in any amount. Every dime helps.

There are two methods for donating:

 

1. For donations of $100 or less, or not requiring a tax deduction, please let us avoid admin fees and send a check directly to IHS at this address:

IHS Puerto Rico Fund

284 Madrona Way NE, Suite 228

Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

and write "Puerto Rico Water Fund" on the check.

2. For donations by credit card or PayPal, or that DO require a tax deduction, please use the blue button below. That will take you to the website of our friends at InSTEDD. Please be sure to write "Puerto Rico Water Fund" in the Notes section.

Please know that we're very grateful for anything, and we appreciate your willingness to help us get every possible dollar supporting Puerto Rico.

Each system costs, all told, about $30,000 each for components, assembly, shipping, team travel, installation, certification, and ongoing maintenance by our local volunteer support staff in Puerto Rico. IHS takes nothing for this except expenses. Once installed the systems provide enough clean drinking water for about a thousand people a day and they last for years. 

Our system installed in Haiti last year after Hurricane Mathew has delivered more than 450,000 gallons to the coastal forest communities west of Jeremie. Our system installed in Nepal after the Kathmandu earthquake has delivered more than 1.5 million gallons. 

 

We have one system successfully installed in Puerto Rico, we've secured funding for a second system, and you're helping us get to a third. We eventually want to reach all 10 remaining Boys and Girls Club sites around that broken island. Please help, and thank you very much!

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