Isla Urbana is currently working to fill the marginalized community of Ajusco-Medio in Mexico City with rainwater harvesting systems. This region of the city developed informally and suffers greatly from a lack of access to water. Many houses do not even have a connection to the city’s water system, while the streets run with rivers of stormwater during the rainy season.
Through funding from other NGO’s, small businesses, and the Mexico City government we are filling the region, which will serve as a model of the implementation process to be replicated throughout the city and the world. Isla Urbana trains plumbers in each neighborhood to install the RWH systems. This way there is a pool of local knowledge to deal with any problems that may arise. We also support the local economy by purchasing all of our materials from the neighborhood hardware stores. Buying the materials locally also ensures that the communities have the resources necessary to maintain their systems.
At Isla Urbana we believe access to water is a basic human right, and we are working to provide water to the citizens of the world one neighborhood at a time.
Isla Urbana offers courses on rainwater harvesting and hosts community events to promote participation in the improvement of the community where we are currently living and working in Mexico City.
The courses that we offer vary from an introductory course of a few hours, which includes the construction of a rain barrel system, to a two day intensive course, which includes constructing a full scale system in a residence.
Our community events focus on providing afterschool activities for the children in our community and on raising awareness of environmental issues.
Rainwater harvesting is a solution for rural water scarcity as well. In 2010, Isla Urbana began the project Ha Tatukari - Water is life. Isla Rural installed three rainwater harvesting systems in a remote Huichol Indian community in central western Mexico. The Huicholes in this community often have to walk for hours in search of clean water which is scarce and distant from the village. The three rainwater harvesting installed will provide abundant and accessible clean water for these amazing people.
Isla Rural is also installs rainwater harvesting in the villages of Magdalena Tepetlalco, San Andrés Totoltepec, Santo Tomás Ajusco, Topilejo right outside of Mexico City up the Ajusco, the highest mountain in the Valley of Mexico. These villages are all within the city’s borders, yet they do not have a connection to the city’s water system. The only option families have to have access to water is to buy trucks of water that have to climb the mountain.