Water Matters: A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) in a U.S.-Mexico Border Rural Community Lacking Piped Water
Health and Water
Jesus Placencia, Michelle Del Rio, Amit Raysoni, and W.L. Hargrove, UTEP
Thursday 5th January 2017
We conducted an HIA around a proposed expansion of water infrastructure in Presidio, TX. The extension of the city’s water system would provide water for the first time to residents and businesses north of the city along Hwy 67, including the colonia Las Pampas. Currently residents and businesses rely on hauled water for their use. Our methodology included interviews of key informants, a water quality survey, a household survey of residents and businesses in the area, and focus groups with residents and businesses. Results showed that the quality of water, even after hauling and storing, was very good. The biggest health impacts related to hauled water included stress from fear of running out of water; the inconvenience, time, and stress associated with hauling water; the risk of accidents; and for businesses, worker safety. Extending water service to the area would also promote economic growth and development. Both residents and businesses are willing to pay the cost of connection and the monthly cost of piped water. Since delivery of water from Presidio is not within sight, we designed a rainwater harvesting system as a pilot demonstration to at least provide residents with water for small scale agriculture and landscaping.
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