The Agua Santa village is one of 23 communities which rely on glacial melt waters from the Chimborazo Glacier on the side of the Chimborazo Volcano for their community’s water supply. Many years ago, aided by a Swizz German engineer, Patricio and other local community members worked together to construct a series of tubes to channel water from the glacier to each of the 23 communities. Agua Santa, 45 kilometers away, is the last of the 23 communities to receive water.
Every 8 days Agua Santa receives water for 2 days. The villagers worked furiously for many hours during these days to capture the water with anything they could to bring back to their homes and community centers. This practice proved to me extremely time consuming and inefficient and the villagers could only use the water little by little.
Thanks to the progressive thinking and devout efforts of Patricio and his Dressing the Mountains in Green (DMG) project and support from the Living Bridges Foundation, the Tian Gong International Foundation, and the Fundacion OSA. Agua Santa villagers worked together in solidarity to construct a 250 cubic meter water tank to capture their water. The tank was completed in 2010 and has been built atop Miraloma hill to store and supply water to the peoples of the Agua Santa community. Everyone in the village of Agua Santa shares this water for drinking and for their household gardens.
Unfortunately due to global warming and climate change, the water that arrives to Agua Santa community is less and less. When their two days of water arrive, the village can only hope and pray for their tank to fill up. Many scientists, researchers, and environmentalists believe the loss of adequate water supplies is the greatest and most immediate risk global warming poses to Ecuador. Increasing temperatures due to global warming cause an acceleration of glacial melt and water evaporation from the soil of the highland grasslands.
It has become increasingly clear that another solution to the communities water needs will be needed. Showing the true dedication of the Foundation OSA we are currently proposing a new project in which a community well will be installed in the bed of an ancient lake. This well project in conjunction with our reforestation projects and the continued environmental education of locals should provide a sustainable supply of water to the Agua Santa village for generations to come.