Day 4: Añasco Corcovada
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
The second community we visited on Tuesday with Professor Robinson Rodriguez-Perez, of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, was Añasco Corcovada. This was one of the many communities that was given help to build its own water system in the 1950s because the government did not have the resources to provide water to everyone. However, unlike many other communities that later gave up their independent systems to be connected to the government system, PRASA, Añasco Corcovada has managed to keep their system running.
After Hurricane Maria occurred, they were able to get their water turned on again within just two days—thanks to their solar panels that power their water pumps—and provided water to many in the surrounding area, while those outside the community were not able to get clean water from their government-operated systems for months. They are now planning to become completely energy independent as well, connecting residents‘ homes to solar power—in defiance of the current law—in order to be more resilient should another powerful storm affect the island.
Our engineering students were excited to get all their technical questions answered about water filtration, drilling for water, and pump speed. Our policy students also got in depth answers on the political history of the aqueduct and energy systems, and how cooperatives are financed.