Last Tuesday, The Guatemala Committee met to discuss sustainability issues and how feasible the initiatives described in this article were. http://www.nature.com/scientificamerican/journal/v305/n5/full/scientificamerican1111-60.html
The article notes that humans use 4,000 cubic kilometers of water per year, 70% of which is used for irrigation. This causes diminished flows in many large rivers and declining water tables in various areas of the world. Pollution of water by fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides is another problem posed by the expansion of agriculture and increased food production — runoff from farmland causes algal blooms and “dead zones,” compromising fishing grounds and drinking water.
The committee aims to keep these issues in mind while looking into repairing the drinking water system and digging latrines in their upcoming project at Guatemala.
Applications for the Guatemala Trip will be available soon. Contact Haoyu Deng at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.