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Hydrophilanthropy: What Can YOU Do? NGWA 10th Annual Groundwater SummitDenver, CO – 6 May 2014Michael E. CampanaCollege of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sci.Oregon State UniversityFounder, Ann Campana Judge Foundationwww.acjfoundation.org“The road to help is paved with good intentions.”-- Tracy Baker


  • Introduction – got water?

  • What is Hydrophilanthropy?

  • MDGs & WaSH

  • Examples of Hydrophilanthropy – Well Guidelines; Panamá Project; Honduras Project - Students

  • Hydrophilanthropy: Mistakes Made & Lessons Learned

  • Admitting & Learning from Failure

  • What YOU Can Do

  • Final Thought & Thank You!

Why is that woman smiling? She’s got a job!

got water?

Job opening:Water-Carrier

Requirements:must be able to balance 45 pounds on your head while trekking rocky dirt roads for miles.

Hours:up to 8 hours a day


Only women & children (girls) need apply!

(courtesy Ray Newmyer)

Hydrophilanthropy - 1Term coined by David Kreamer of UNLV around 2005. Never really defined it. [See DK’s article ‘The Meaning of Hydrophilanthropy’ in September 2010Water Resources IMPACT]

Hydrophilanthropy -2 Definition:Altruistic concern for the water, sanitation, and related needs of humankind, often manifested by contributions of work, money, orresources.-- M. Campana

Hydrophilanthropy 3 broader
Hydrophilanthropy – 3 (Broader)

  • Does not necessarily imply working in ‘classic’ developing regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Asia, etc.)

  • Includes volunteering as water expert for tribal, state, local, Federal government commissions/committees; watershed councils; NGOs; etc.

  • Can involve applied or basic research, e.g., water purification (pathogens, arsenic, fluoride, etc.); latrine, stove, pump design & engineering; rapid assessment techniques; remote sensing;

  • Can be relief or development work

  • Education & outreach

Hydrophilanthropy - 4 Alternate definition:“I can’t define hydrophilanthropy, but I know it when I see it.”-– M. Campana (apologies to former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart)

Hydrophilanthropy Readings1)September 2010Water Resources IMPACT(http://bit.ly/9ColgZ)2) August 2010 J. of. Contemporary Water Research & Education (JCWRE) (http://is.gd/w1VrvK)3) Editorial in Water Well Journal November 2013, p. 8 - http://is.gd/kSSQkA

Mdgs wash etc
MDGs, WaSH, etc.

“There are probably more annoying things than being hectored about African development by a wealthy Irish rock star in a cowboy hat, but I can’t think of one at the moment.”– Paul Theroux, referring to Paul Hewson (aka Bono), The Honolulu Advertiser, 8 January 2006

  • Millennium Development Goals

  • (8 MDGs; see http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals)

  • Promulgated in 2005: Target 7.C: WatSan - by 2015, reduce by 50% the number of people without access to improved drinking water (~ 1.1B) or sanitation (~ 2.4 B) Note: DW number likely too low; ‘improved’ v. ‘safe’?

  • WatSan goal: not ‘rocket science’ but requires $$ and political will

  • Drinking water MDG recently met (??)

  • Sanitation MDG: fall short by 700M?

Hydrophilanthropy in practice projects beyond mountains there are mountains haitian proverb
Hydrophilanthropy in Practice:Projects“Beyond mountains there are mountains.” – Haitian proverb

S cubed steve schneider style hydrophilanthropy http is gd v4jutr
S-cubed’ (Steve Schneider Style) Hydrophilanthropyhttp://is.gd/V4juTr

Panam project
Panamá Project

  • In 1999–2000 working under the auspices of Lifewater International, taught team of Embera Indians to drill and complete wells, install pumps.

  • Team of four gringos – Loring Green, Bob Jarrett, Craig Woodring, and I

  • In May 2000 conducted training trip; drilled two wells, left equipment, supplies

  • No return – issues with FARC guerrillas

  • Out of touch till 2008; contact via PCV

  • 2014 – team still drilling!

Southern dari n looking west
Southern Darién – looking west

Loring green instructing on the ls 100
Loring Green Instructing on the LS-100


  • Trained 6-man Embera team

  • Team drilled three wells: two producers (c.

    25 gpm) and one dry hole (< 1 gpm)

  • Team installed one submersible and one

    hand pump

  • Provided one LS-100, mud pump, 500 feet of 4” ID PVC, drilling mud, 3 Bush hand pumps, cement, submersible pump, tools

  • Renewed contact via Peace Corps in 2008

  • Team still drilling – 2014!


  • Poor USA-Panamá communications

    with locals; made coordination and

    planning difficult

  • No follow-up – future trips were

    canceled because of dangerous

    conditions (Plan Colombia)

  • Lost touch with team after training

Honduras project students
Honduras Project – Students

  • From 2001-2005, I conducted field course for U of NM Master of Water Resources students in Honduras - three weeks each June. See JCWRE andIMPACT articles (URLs on slide 9)

  • Partnered with Hondureños Alex del Cid Vásquez, Rolando López, SANAA, and local villagers to help build gravity-flow water systems (dam, tank, piping) in 5 villages in the Sierra de Omoa.

  • Introduced students to hydrophilanthropy and the struggles of many just to obtain clean drinking water.

Alex del Cid Vásquez, “el jefe de agua”

Five villages located in the Sierra de Omoa, a rugged mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula

Climate: Warm and humid with distinct wet and dry seasons. Average annual rainfall of 250 cm (~100 inches)

Why work in the sierra de omoa
Why Work in the Sierra de mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro SulaOmoa?

According to my Honduran friends:

  • Relatively few people – little political power

  • Rugged topography, poor roads – politicians, civil servants don’t often want to make the effort to visit or work there (except during election season)

  • NGOs don’t want to work there – risk of failure is too high

    So why work there?

    It’s a challenge!

Rugged topography remote locations
Rugged Topography, mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro SulaRemote Locations

Rural water project santa teresa honduras wr573 2004

Rural Water Project mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro SulaSanta Teresa, Honduras WR573 2004

Pipe cutting and threading mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula

Accomplishments mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula

  • Helped build five gravity-flow potable water systems serving about 2,000 people

  • Provided instruction to locals in sanitation and hygiene

  • Cross-cultural, life-changing (for some) experience for 65 students

  • Empowered local women – can do other things besides gathering water; girls can go to school

  • Gringos can be “good neighbors”

Shortcomings mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula

  • No follow-up – SANAA (Honduran government agency) dropped the ball

  • Need continued training, support

  • Sustainability and Monitoring & Evaluation (see IMPACT articles by Christine Casey Matute and Stephanie Moore)

  • Change in social dynamics of villages – gender roles. Is this good?

Hydrophilanthropy: mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro SulaMistakes Made, Lessons Learned & Learning from Failure“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” – African proverb

Hydrophilanthropy mistakes i made
Hydrophilanthropy mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula: Mistakes IMade

  • See a problem and am inclined to solve it with my methods, because that’s how I do it. How would locals do it? Which is better and why?

  • If there is no local input and participation, then there is no community “buy in” - “not my well – not my problem – he’ll come back and fix his well if it breaks.”

  • Neglecting economic development: people need means to maintain wells, pumps, etc. Social entrepreneurship!

  • Forgot about multidisciplinary perspective and public health!

  • Sustainability, Monitoring & Evaluation!

What i learned
What I mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro SulaLearned

  • Use appropriate technology

    • Too complicated = unsustainable

  • Need societal infrastructure

    • Effective governance

  • Need understanding, commitment, training

  • Stakeholder involvement required

  • Failure to learn from mistakes - no outcomes assessment, monitoring & evaluation (M & E)

  • Beware: self-congratulatory, feel-good approach. Need patience; Tranquilo!

  • Need partners in-country

Admitting Failure mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula WWW site – EWB-Canadahttp://www.admittingfailure.com/“Learning from what’s not working. Creating space for what is.”

Learning from failure 13 minute video david damberger founder ewb calgary http is gd axvucw
Learning from Failure mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula(13-minute video)David DambergerFounder, EWB – Calgaryhttp://is.gd/AxvUCW

What you can do volunteer
What YOU Can Do – mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro SulaVolunteer!

Hydrogeologists Without Borders

hwbwater.org (Canadian)

Lifewater and Living Water

www.lifewater.org and www.water.cc

Engineers Without Borders


student/professional chapters

Engineers In Action

Rotary Clubs (Rotary International)

Water For People - World Water Corps

Church Groups

VITA – Volunteers In Technical Assistance

NGWA Developing Nations Interest Group Forum

Final Thought mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula“I really envy you guys. You have the power to keep people from getting sick. By the time I’m called, it’s really too late.”-- A medical doctor, talking to some volunteer water professionals, c. 2000

One more thought unsustainable yes why
One More Thought… mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro SulaUnsustainable?Yes.Why?

Unsustainable solutions
Unsustainable Solutions? mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula

1) Dean Kamen Tackles the Water Crisis


2) Crapping on the ‘Gates Toilet’


3) Have PlayPumps Played Out?


Thank you
Thank You! mountain range ~30 km NW of San Pedro Sula

WaterWired blog:


WaterWired Twitter:


Facebook: Michael Campana

LinkedIn: Michael Campana

[email protected]

And thanks to Mary Frances Campana for 20+ years of love, encouragement, and support!

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill