Water Resource Management for the Esther School

Kim De Boer, Amanda Donnel, and Emily Riihl

Need: The Esther School (Nyangwenya, Zambia) has problems with calcium deposits, drying wells, and erosion around the school buildings. These issues, along with a desire to collect gently used water from the kitchen and washroom sinks (greywater) to water the orchards, have led to a recognized need for a sustainable water management system.

Solution: We designed a rainwater harvesting and storage system consisting of rain water collection at buildings, piping to a cistern and a return pipe for use. This system will store water during the rainy season so that it can be used during the dry season. Using rainwater will solving the calcium problem, since it is softer than the ground water. A rainwater system will also reduce the school's demand on the community's freshwater wells, allowing both the community and school to grow more sustainably. Collecting the rainwater will also mitigate erosion around the buildings, since it will now run into the storage system instead of onto the ground. A separate greywater system will facilitate reuse of the collected water by collecting and filtering water from the kitchens and washrooms through compost before piping it to orchard for irrigation.