Saturday, October 1, 2011

Water quality education

This blog will serve as a place to keep track of water quality teaching and testing resources geared toward Haiti. I will teach adult ecology conferences this November. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment!


I would like a portable watershed model (can fit in my backpack) to demonstrate water running downhill, washing away soil if there is no ground cover, etc. Something like these large models: Let me know if you know of a place to purchase these, or if you are creative and want to make and donate one. A poster would also serve the purpose of illustrating what to consider in the watershed (riparian veg, cows in the stream, erosion, etc.)

I made this out of a foam modeling clay from the craft store. It’s not waterproof though, but metal beads get the point across about water flowing to the lowest points. One half is a forested watershed, and half is deforested.

Water quality

It was during a water quality lesson at my first conference in 2009 that I realized how much understanding science empowers people. As I was describing how the high pH of laundry soap changes the pH of the river water the women wash in which could kill the fish, a man announced he thought it was voodoo causing their environmental oppression, and he was excited to learn there is a reason that they can do something about. Here I’ll compile resources for teaching about water quality.

World Water Monitoring Day kits – very simple kits to teach and test temperature, DO, pH, and turbidity. See my previous post about this kit.

Portable Microbiology Laboratory (PML) – I’ll try this out for the first time in Nov.

Related materials from the developer of the PML.

Water quality groups or resources in Haiti – I’ll keep adding to this list as I come across groups or resources

CARE - We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.

Haiti Outreach - Our work to date has been in the three major areas of clean water, education, and economic development.

Heifer International - also offers youth and adult workshops at their US ranches.

Living Water International - They also offer training in the US in hygiene and well drilling -

Pure Water for the World - is a non-profit (501c3) that works to prevent children from suffering from water-borne diseases that cause pain as a result of improper hygiene habits and consuming contaminated water.

Samaritan's Purse - For over 40 years, Samaritan's Purse has done our utmost to follow Christ's command by going to the aid of the world's poor, sick, and suffering.

SOIL - Sanitation and latrines. Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti.

Water Missions International - uses low-maintenance, appropriate water technologies for drinking water treatment and distribution, wastewater management, and storm water control. - is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries.

Clorination options - Five options for household chlorination are available in Haiti: Gadyen Dlo, Dlo Lavi, Klorfasil, Aquatabs, and household bleach.

Potters for Peace - is not directly involved in relief efforts on the ground in Haiti because we have not been approached by any Haitian organizations. What we are doing is working on a project with a local organization (I.D.E.A.C.) in the Dominican Republic that is helping a local filter producer to re-tool and increase production. Through these efforts they will soon be able to expand their distribution to Haiti.