The AguaClara Program is a research program at Cornell University that produces engineering designs for reliable and sustainable municipal-scale water treatment plants.
The AguaClara program has avoided many of the challenges to sustainability faced by community-sized treatment plants by developing a suite of water treatment technology that is able to meet US EPA standards for drinking water without the use of any electricity or high-tech equipment that depends on overseas supply chains. The gravity-powered design is scaled to the size of the community and is constructed using purely local materials, labor, and knowledge. This makes the technology simpler for the target community to build, use and maintain, making it a far more sustainable and reliable option than many other water treatment plant technologies available.
The goal of the AguaClara program is to develop and share these high-performing, low cost, reliable and sustainable technologies with NGO’s, governments and private engineering firms so they can build resilient and community-based water treatment infrastructure for the benefit of the thousands of communities that still rely on unsafe water sources.
So far, AguaClara plants serve 30,000 people in rural municipalities in Honduras. Live performance data from six AguaClara-designed plants is available at monitor.wash4all.org.