Las Pampas Colonia
- Category: Residential - Community
- Organization Location: Las Pampas, Texas
- Activity: Small-scale rainwater demonstration projects show alternatives to hauled water.
Las Pampas is a small, unincorporated community (colonia) located outside of Presidio where mostly elderly residents rely on hauled water. To reduce that need, the community partnered with University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) Center for Environmental Resource Management, a university student organization, and Coca-Cola Bottling of El Paso to construct a rainwater harvesting demonstration project at two residences. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture provided partial funding of supplies through a grant to UTEP.
Volunteers from the university’s Engineers for a Sustainable World student organization provided labor for the project and Coca-Cola donated 27 275-gallon tanks. Total installed storage capacity using eight tanks is 2,200 gallons and is used for gardening, landscaping, and watering small livestock. For the residents, the amount of hauled water has been cut by half, saving each demonstration household $15 to $20 per month, a significant amount in this low-resource community. The project has been successful in building interest among other residents in installing their own systems. Several will have the use of some of the remaining tanks donated by Coca-Cola to install their own domestic systems. The student group and faculty advisors from UTEP hope to continue with demonstration projects in other colonias in the area to spread awareness of the benefits of rainwater harvesting.