Earth Water Alliance Celebrates Earth Day Every Day
Puerto Rico Water Filter Distribution
Our partners in Puerto Rico are still super busy with several projects and programs concerning water quality and disaster resilience. After Hurricane Maria, Earth Water Alliance provided 200 Sawyer Point One bucket water filters to 19 regions throughout Puerto Rico.
We are currently in discussions with Surfrider Foundation Rincón regarding expanding their water program in western Puerto Rico. An integral part of that program during the relief work was community awareness talks about water quality, filter distribution, and expansion of their water testing to include wells, streams and springs that people were using for household water sources. They tested and distributed various filters or treatment methods including Sawyer, Lifestraw, DIVVY system, and several chlorine-based methods.
Surfrider Foundation Rincón distributed about 1,000 and were very happy with the performance of the Sawyer Point One model. They report that it is fine for most uses. They were a bit concerned about its ability to handle smaller microorganisms since Puerto Rico had a close call with an epidemic of leptospirosis and there is no field test or easy lab detection method for that bacteria yet. For sites or areas where they were encountering high levels of bacteria they recommended the chlorine & boiling routine or use of the more expensive Sawyer .02 filter. Since the price is higher for that model it is better suited for use at a neighborhood/barrio level. Conclusion: because lepto bacteria and some other pathogens have a radial diameter of about .05 microns, there is a statistical chance the Sawyer Point One might not catch all of them. But, in most cases they concluded the Point One was perfectly appropriate, and they are still very interested in continuing to distribute them as part of their continuing water quality effort.
Puerto Rico’s Sustainable Agriculture Movement
Currently, only 15 percent of Puerto Rico’s food is grown locally; everything else is imported. Considering the island’s tropical climate, with four growing seasons and fertile terrain, that statistic is especially shocking. Add the doubled cost of goods—tacked on by the Jones Act, a century-old maritime law that requires all ships entering any U.S. land or territory be built and crewed by American citizens, and requires punitive fees of foreign vessels—and it simply doesn’t make sense. Right now, Puerto Rico is basically GMO headquarters; there are more permits for transgenic seed experimentation than anywhere else in the U.S. or its territories. Meanwhile, iconic staples like rice and beans are almost entirely outsourced. The island is a food desert.
Puerto Rico’s growing sustainable agriculture movement involves a network of grassroots organizations and projects throughout the island to support farmer’s market, organic seed distribution, community gardens, restaurants using locally sourced ingredients, and the introduction of sustainable agriculture in classrooms. The shift toward local agriculture means the island is closer to autonomy.
Local organizations like Resiliency Fund, Guagua Solidaria, Proyecto Semiteca, Huertos Comunitarios y Permacultura Urbana – Viejo San Juan, and Surfrider Fondation Rincónare restoring and rehabilitating local farms, building latrines, pruning guava trees, setting up rainwater catchment systems, implementing solar energy, teaching polyculture and crop diversity, collecting and distributing heirloom seeds, supporting farmers markets, developing seed libraries, and providing workshops. Recently, 27 public school teachers in San Juan area participated in a program that included an introduction to permaculture design methodologies and the integration of seed libraries into garden and landscape designs.
Navajo Reservation – Smith Lake and Baca, NM
Five years ago, DigDeep began planning a well at Smith Lake, NM. They needed an additional source of clean water to serve hundreds of families without running water or toilets. Thousands of people across the US came together to make this dream a reality, but unfortunately the site theydrilled was dry. (Note: the driller did not drill where EWA dowsed but instead drilled where access was easier for their equipment.)
Subsequently, DigDeep found an old abandoned well near the elementary school, tested the water, and have now rebuilt that well. The well water is pristine and the location will provide an additional water source that is closer to many of the homes they serve. Current work at the site involves building the well house, constructing a 10,000 gallon holding tank, and install electicity, public taps, a driveway, and fencing.
Earth Water Alliance is a proud supporter of the Baca, NM water distribution expansion project which will provide more reliable and timely distibution of clean drinking water to the people of the Navajo Nation.
Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
The Pine Ridge Reservation is flooded! The aftermath of Winter Storm Ulmer, which hit the Midwest on March 13th, is still wreaking havoc on the territory.
It’s been reported that over 1,500 tribal citizens were displaced from their homes and 75-100 structures were damaged by the flooding. 500 people remain without access to potable water, culvert systems are plugged, and roads are impassable. Pine Ridge now faces millions of dollars of damage. Recovery will take a long time and the tribe is woefully understaffed and under-resourced.
The Lakota People’s Law Project has set up shop at tribal headquarters in Pine Ridge to join the effort. They are in the process of assembling a group of qualified professionals (engineers, skilled laborers, heavy equipment operators, grant writers, etc.) to help untangle the complicated web of prerequisites coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of South Dakota that must be met before they will provide assistance. They will need help from these institutions to navigate the waters ahead.
Dowsing and Intuition in the Classroom
Earth Water Alliance is assisting fellow intuitives and dowsers who are teaching basic dowsing and intuitive knowing at elementary and secondary schools.
Join us on our journey as we celebrate Earth Day Every Day!
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