The Fund-An-Item for 2015 was “Water for Life”. Even though the Copper Canyon has seen moderate precipitation in recent years the challenge still remains for dependable and safe access to clean drinking water. A comprehensive scientific survey of the existing conditions is being managed by Schneider Water Services of St. Paul, Oregon fully staffed by volunteers but still requiring a significant budget to execute. The outcome of this survey will determine what needs to be done in the way of rehabilitation and new construction for the long term delivery of safe drinking water to the Tarahumara families who depend on it. This will be a multi-year program that will put the infrastructure in place for many years to come. Approximately $40,000 was raised in support of this project.
Steve took his first team of family members, volunteers and industry professionals to Creel in Novemeber of 2015 to begin this project. Even the seemingly simple task of conveying equipment and testing supplies across the border proved to be complicated but was ultimately overcome. Steve and his team set to work prepping, testing and evaluating the results from this data. This analysis has continued through 2016 and the next team is scheduled to return to Creel in the spring of 2017. (As a side note, local engineer Antonio and his family extended their gracious hospitaltiy to welcome the entire team for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner).
Fr. Miguel is working closely with Steve to review the results and prioritize the work that needs to be done. Some of the wells are still productive and some have run dry or are just too contaminated. Helping the local users to understand the ways that the water supply can be polluted and the effect that can have on their health is a difficult task. Some of the wells can be repaired with new well heads/pumps and concrete top caps and some are beyond repair and may need to be abandoned.
Thank you to Steve, his team and other interested parties for spearheading this effort. We all tend to take clean water on demand for granted but when you see pictures like this we hope it will help you to understand that in places like Creel and the Copper Canyon that just isn't the case.
Thank you to all of the benefactors who supported this campaign.
John and Peggy Brockamp, President and Secretary TCHF of Oregon
Steve Schneider, Schneider Water Services, St. Paul, Oregon