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Household Drinking Water Initiative


Communities near the Javari River (a tributary of the Amazon River) in Colombia, Brazil and Peru


Wine to Water and Agua y Vida

The largest portion of the Amazon River runs through these three countries. The river, though highly contaminated, is the primary source of drinking water for most people in the region. During the rainy season, rising river water overwhelms existing wells, rendering them unusable.

Wine to Water is a North Carolina-based humanitarian relief organization dedicated to building and repairing wells in the Amazon, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, East Africa and Nepal. Leveraging partnerships with ground partners such as Agua y Vida, Wine to Water is committed to providing clean water to one million people by 2019.

Agua y Vida digs wells primarily in the Amazon region of Colombia, Brazil and Peru. With a focus on providing access to water, the organization also provides WASH education and leadership training.

Working together, the two organizations are creating safe, sustainable water sources for families in the Amazon. With a deep understanding of local contamination issues, the team identified M-Drops as a low-cost technology that would assure the safety of drinking water where it is consumed – in the home.

MadiDrop Implementation:

The Wine to Water team, lead by Kyle Lomax, introduced the two-bucket, multi-barrier system to families in the region. Using one bucket to collect and treat the water and a second bucket to store water after it is treated, Kyle demonstrated the simplicity of using an M-Drop placed in a container to keep stored water safe.

"A unique thing about the M-Drop is that keeps the storage container clean which is a huge problem. This is a challenging obstacle to overcome and the M-Drop does it with ease."

- Kyle Lomax, MadiDrop Implementer

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the M-Drop at reducing high pathogen levels, the Wine to Water team conducted overnight compartment bag tests (CBT) using water samples collected from the Javari River in Santo Antonio, Brazil. These portable tests are routinely used in the field to detect and quantify E.coli bacteria and determine if the water poses a health risk.

Wine to Water compared untreated Amazon River water to samples treated with a Sawyer Water Filter or an M-Drop. Results showed the untreated water samples were bluish/green, the worst score possible. These results indicate the presence of high levels of E.coli. in the water’s natural state. Both the Sawyer- treated and M-Drop treated samples were yellow, the best score possible.

Agua y Vida distributed M-Drops to selected families with plans to expand to more families in early 2017.