WaterRico Project: A Sustainable Solution for Clean Water


In the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season which included devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the WaterRico project was established to address a critical need for clean water in the community of Moca, Puerto Rico. Led by a dedicated team of PMWB volunteers in collaboration with Rotary Club members from the Centennial and Denver, Colorado chapters, the local Puerto Rico chapter, and members of the Moca community, the WaterRico project sought to identify a solution that solved an immediate need while being sustainable for the community to support and expand on their own.

Beginning with a thorough assessment of the community needs and conditions in Moca, the project team met with local government and community partners to identify their approach. Initially planning to build community wells, the team quickly realized that a lightweight and portable solution was needed. The team pivoted, developing a prototype water filtration system made from locally sourced, affordable, and readily available materials, that was not only practical but sustainable long-term.


The project saw significant progress, evolving from a prototype to small-scale implementation, to large-scale implementation. The community in Moca, supported by the Rotary Club, initially built 100 filters for the community, ensuring a reliable source of clean water. The Rotary team returned the following year, conducting training sessions and workshops to empower the local community to maintain and replicate the solution independently. This hands-on approach and the focus on sustainability were key to the project's success, building 1,200 filters in the course of one week..

The WaterRico project highlighted the importance of effective communication, proper project management, and adaptability. The project team emphasized the importance of understanding on-ground realities and involving the community in the decision-making process. The project was successful not only by providing immediate relief to the Moca community, but by establishing a model for future Rotary Club initiatives aiming to deliver clean water for communities in need.

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