Equitable Water Distribution System for Isolated Places

Mario HonrubiaRecent ChallengesSustainability Challenges


Since 2007, the ICAI Engineers for Development Foundation (Fundación de Ingenieros de ICAI para el Desarrollo) has been working to help the most vulnerable communities by offering its volunteers and their engineering capabilities. One of its main cooperation goals is the access to drinkable water, hence the nature of the following challenge.Equitable Water Distribution System The challenge branches out of the project that is being carried out in the Amazonian community of Villa Gonzalo, located north of the Amazon department and next to the Santiago River, in Peru. It is a village of 850 individuals organized in 150 families of the Wampis culture, a folk that has always lived in the Peruvian rainforest.

The Equitable Water Distribution Challenge

The community has many needs, and an alarming situation has been detected regarding access to drinkable water:  people from this community are drinking water contaminated with fecal bacteria. Even though water is abundant in the many rivers and streams, all the sources are contaminated and are far from fit for human consumption. After speaking to the local authorities and the board of directors of the community, some surveys have been passed around the families and one simple, quick, low-cost and agreed-on solution has been proposed: rainwater harvesting. For this purpose, 16 public fountains will be scattered around the community and each of them will supply 9-10 families. These systems have a collecting metallic surface and a polyethylene tank. For more information, like a detailed structure and tank design, Villa Gonzalo plans and pictures, take a look at the annexes.

Characteristics of the Water Distribution System

  • 16 collecting and supply installations that supply 50 people each.
  • Supply of 4-6 liters per person a day.
Equitable Water Distribution System

What the client is looking for

Besides the collecting installations and the storage, there is another key point for the project: water supply management. The goal of this challenge is to find an equitable water distribution system that limits the available water for each family. The solution must not include the use of electricity and it must be robust, easy to maintain and low-cost. Each tank must have its own system since the installations will be located in different spots within the community.Equitable Water Distribution System The implementation plan and logistics of the proposed solution will be taken into account.

Evaluation criteria

  • Feasible system and adapted to the project environment
  • Lowest possible cost.
  • Easy to acquire and simple logistics.
  • Easy use and implementation.
  • Lowest possible need for maintenance.

Required Submissions

A PDF document including:
  • Brief technical description of the proposed system and how it works.
  • Detailed specification (drawings, materials…).
  • Execution plan.
  • Investment cost.
In addition, you can add an attached document to support your solution.


1 round – 6 weeks + 2 weeks for evaluation


Visibility and recognition of the winner’s work through Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin). The Fundación and ICAI School will spread the word of the accomplished task using all the channels available. The winner will keep the IP and the Fundación will only have the usage rights. Join the challenge here