Water for Life

 

There is no life without water

 

Go Beyond's Water for Life project addresses the urgent need in many remote villages for a sustainable water supply. Rainwater harvesting, improved tank construction and water pumping solutions are implemented using local materials.

 

Rainwater collection
Concrete tank

Clip-on rainwater harvesting and concrete tank constructed by Go Beyond

 

The project provides excellent volunteering opportunities for students, and enables sponsors and other organizations to partner with Go Beyond in meeting a critical need, and simultaneously make valuable training available to students.

 

Preparation of materials
Connecting pipes to tank

Volunteers working on the project

 

SPONSORS

  • U-Action, Hong Kong
  • Poly-U SIP Program, Hong Kong
  • Macalline, Shenzhen
  • Staff from Ma On Shan Primary School
  • Private sponsors

 

THE PROJECT NAME

 

The name "Water for Life" is based on feedback we received from a village leader, who summed up the value of the project thus: "The water system being installed will provide a life-long water supply for a family." ‘Water for life’ provides one of the most basic needs for life, for a life-time.

 

RAINWATER HARVESTING

 

A local materials rainwater solution was trialed by villagers and Go Beyond volunteers in 2007, in a Yunnan village which faced challenges collecting and storing sufficient water. With funding from Hong Kong sponsors, and grants obtained by student volunteers, materials such as PVC pipe were purchased locally, and metal brackets were manufactured to make installation as straightforward as possible.

 

Slotted bracket

Slotted bracket allowing for easy installation

Split 160mm PVC pipe

Split 160mm PVC pipe used for gutters

 

The resulting rainwater harvesting system has now been adopted by the village and is an example to the area that rainwater is precious and needs to be stored. But more needs to be done in this village and in many other locations.

 

RAM PUMPS

 

Receiving a ram pump in 2013, donated by World Vision, was an ideal opportunity to work with the village where we had installed rainwater harvesting, and introduce the use of ram pumps into the area for the first time.

The Green and Carter pump we received was an excellent commercial pump, and yet the cost of the pump itself was too high for it to become a widely used water powered pump. When looking at alternatives, one option stood out above the rest, as highly suitable and cost effective – utilize a locally manufactured pump, a concept proposed in a ram pump manual written by Mitchell Silver, published by UNICEF in Nepal in 1977.

 

Signing receipt
Green and Carter pump

Collecting the Green and Carter ram pump donated by World Vision

 

Pump in operation
Village representatives and World Vision staff

Village representatives and World Vision team watching the installed Green and Carter pump in operation

 

To train volunteers in assembling and operating ram pumps, we found that a live training session was far more effective than any other activity. In 2015, Go Beyond began offering ram pump workshops for students and volunteers, and started producing ram pump kitsets, which greatly streamlines the installation of ram pumps in the field.

 

Ram pump workshop

A ram pump workshop in Shenzhen, China

Pump being installed in Kenya

A team in Kenya assembling a ram pump for which the impulse valve was donated by Go Beyond

 

School activity

A ram pump demonstration for high school students in Hong Kong

Demonstration ram pump in New Zealand

A Go Beyond demonstration pump (installed in a New Zealand park)

 

Impulse valve

Machined impulse valve (polymer and stainless steel)

Set of welded kit-set parts

Set of welded kit-set parts

 

The above parts comprise the Go Beyond ram pump kit-set, which is scalable, and can be shipped anywhere worldwide for training activities and for installation. Alternatively the welded parts can be made in local workshops (To request plans and instructions please email Go Beyond).

 

With STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities being used more frequently in school science curricula, and with many communities, in Africa and Asia, seeking to overcome water scarcity, a unique opportunity exists for students to have an impact – by first working with ram pumps on campus, and then, in addition to rainwater harvesting and solar pumping from wells, using ram pumps in actual service projects related to water.