Water Harvesting in the Independence Aquifer, Guanajuato
District 5240 Rotarians meet with community members speaking about the importance of clean water.  Note an existing cistern in the background.
A global grant by the Rotary clubs of Simi Sunrise and San Miguel de Allende Midday was approved in March of 2016 for $200,000 to build 314 ferro-cement cisterns in the Independence Aquifer in central Mexico. The grant is expected to reach 2400 individuals and to be completed in roughly 18 months. The materials for the cisterns are provided by the grant and are built by teams made up of the project's beneficiaries.  Additionally, the grant provides for the development of training materials covering the water cycle, water contamination,  and what is “safe” drinking water. 
The training is conducted by cooperating partners which are grass roots organizations with close ties to the beneficiary communities.
In April of 2016, Simi Sunrise Rotarians Heather Frankle and Chas Wilson, accompanied by spouses Nick Frankle and Phyllis Wilson were able to attend the D4160 Conference in San Miguel along with approximately 30 other D5240 Rotarians. 
As part of the visit, we were able to visit with future beneficiaries of the grant as well as the beneficiaries of previous cistern grants to learn and understand the impact that these have had on their lives.  We were also able to attend a 'teach the teachers' session where the curriculum was being refined.  The interest and enthusiasm of the teachers in this effort was evident and provided proof that there is a grass roots commitment for this project.
The Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende Midday, an English speaking club, is comprised of expatriates from Spain, Denmark, Canada and the United States.  Since 2009, the club has been responsible for the construction of 625 rainwater harvesting systems over the course of 15 separate projects. Work has begun on the cisterns funded by our global grant. All of the cisterns will be completed before the annual rains begin in May.  For more information, contact Chas Wilson, Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise at famwilson@sbcglobal.net