Tetra Tech Announces 2016 Engineers Without Borders USA Grant Projects

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Tetra Tech Announces 2016 Engineers Without Borders USA Grant Projects

Helping communities in Tanzania, Panama, and Zambia secure safe, clean, and sustainable water supplies

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Friday, May 13, 2016 - 8:00am

Tetra Tech is proud to support projects that are bringing lasting, scalable solutions to communities in need through our Engineers Without Borders (EWB) USA Grant Program. The program provides funding to individual projects with which U.S.-based Tetra Tech associates are involved.

Tetra Tech has selected three water supply projects as its 2016 EWB-USA grant recipients. Congratulations to the following project teams from the EWB Boston Professional Chapter (Mkutani, Tanzania, project), the Sacramento Valley Professionals Chapter (Tranquilla Norte, Panama, project), and the Hampton Roads Professional Chapter (Kafue, Zambia, project). Information about the water supply projects this year’s grants will support is provided below. 

In honor of the company’s 50th Anniversary, Tetra Tech launched a separate Global Clean Water Fund grant program that supports projects from EWB organizations around the world.

Water Supply Improvements in Mkutani, Tanzania

Through the EWB Boston Professional Chapter (EWB-Boston), Tetra Tech is helping to provide clean, safe drinking water for the 2,800 residents of Mkutani, Tanzania. We are supporting the implementation phase of the water supply project for villagers who currently rely on a silty, salty, bacteria-infested river that dries up during part of the year. 

The project will provide the village with a deep well that produces at least 5,000 liters per hour of potable water. On their implementation trip in late May and early June, EWB-Boston Chapter members will work with local partners and the community to choose the drilling location and drill a 100-meter-deep bore hole. They will perform pumping tests to determine the yield and assess the water quality. If the quantity and quality are sufficient, they will complete the borehole as a water supply well, including installing a hand pump and concrete pad. The team will also instruct villagers on proper upkeep of the well. 

Tetra Tech previously provided grant funding to support the assessment phase of this project. EWB-Boston has partnered with the village since 2011 when they began work on a rainwater-harvesting system for the village dispensary.

Water Supply Improvements in Tranquilla Norte, Panama

Through the EWB Sacramento Valley Professional Chapter, Tetra Tech is supporting the development of a sustainable water distribution system for the 3,000-person community of Tranquilla Norte, Panama. An existing, deteriorated supply pipeline, which was installed in the 1980s, does not provide adequate supply. As a result, the community lacks access to potable water, especially during peak hours and in locations further from the water source. Community members often resort to using untreated and unsafe surface water.

In July and August 2016, EWB Sacramento Valley Professional Chapter members will travel to Tranquilla Norte to acquire data on water quality and quantity in anticipation of creating various solutions for the community. Immediate needs will be met with decentralized storage and filtration that will serve groups of homes. The long-term goal includes redesigning and rebuilding the existing pipeline to eliminate hydraulic losses, air blocks, and other factors that result in a lack of supply during peak hours. During the upcoming trip, the team will reinstate an existing well and drill a new well to increase supply to the lower portion of the community, which is currently most affected by lack of water. They will also educate community members about water conservation, waterborne illness, and proper care of installed systems. 

Water Supply Improvements at Josephine Fogg School, Kafue, Zambia

Through the EWB Hampton Roads Professional Chapter, Tetra Tech is supporting the enhancement of the existing water supply system at the Josephine Fogg School in Kafue, Zambia. Over the past 20 years, the school has grown from a small preschool serving 65 students to a kindergarten through 9th grade school serving 600 students. It has outgrown its original water supply system. 

Engineers from the EWB Hampton Roads Professional Chapter recently traveled to the school to oversee the drilling of a new, deeper well to replace a 30-year-old, hand-dug, shallow well that was inadequate to meet the demands of the school’s students and staff. While the new well provides more than adequate supply, the current gravity-fed supply system lacks adequate elevation to provide enough pressure for fixtures at the far end of the school. 

Currently the well feeds four 2,000-liter steel storage tanks that are elevated six feet above grade. The maximum potential head pressure of this system is insufficient. To address the water pressure issue, the EWB team will elevate the storage system to a height of 20 feet. The EWB team will install new, 10-kiloliter poly tanks, which are better suited to mounting on erected steel frames. This system, paired with the recently completed deep well, will meet the school’s needs for potable water. 

In addition to serving on the EWB project team, Tetra Tech’s Jacqueline Fogg has a personal connection to the school. Her mother helped start and build the original preschool building in 1986. Jacqueline also secured a grant in 2009 from the American Embassy in Lusaka to support the building of a new sanitation block, and her family supported the expansion of the school in 2010. After learning about Tetra Tech’s corporate relationship with EWB, Jacqueline involved her local chapter, which has committed to support projects at the school through at least 2017.

Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Engineers Without Borders | Environment | Panama | Positive Change | Social Impact & Volunteering | Sustainable Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | Tetra Tech | Water | tanzania | water