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Rotary Water Leadership Recognized

By Robin Loving

It’s one thing to do a project; it’s another to do so with someone else’s money. To get that money is a ticklish game often called “grantsmanship,” a complicated skillset in which the applicant has to write well, cipher just as well, and then document how every cent or peso went for its intended purpose. Without the management piece in the middle of that equation a gulf of potential failure awaits. With it, funds can flow like the water they are being given for, as in the case of local Rotary Club water projects.

Rotary Midday was recently recognized in the March 2018 issue of Rotary Leader Magazine for its innovative methods of project management, execution, monitoring, and evaluation. Among its achievements cited, Rotary Midday built 340 cisterns in San Miguel de Allende’s aquifer region in the last 18 months.

Rotary Midday has earned US$650,000 since 2009 to construct more than 1,100 rainwater collection systems in the campo to bring essential, life-sustaining water to those without it. When their grant work is completed, organizers will be able to report that 99.9 percent of the cisterns are functioning and providing safe water in rural communities.

Of course, collaboration was key to their success. Key collaborators included Rotary Fellow Wendy Coulson, an expert in curriculum development and adult education who refined and improved the three-day water education course required of each family that received a rainwater collection system. El Centro de Desarollo Agropecuario (Center for Agricultural Development), known as CEDESA, also collaborated by bringing water cistern-building experts in to teach Rotary’s five-day cistern course in each community. CEDESA also provided essential community development and organization.

In addition, a Jovenes Adelante student has been employed to handle administration and record-keeping. “By identifying and utilizing assets already existing in the community, we accomplish more and assure project sustainability,” said Lee Carter, Rotary Midday’s vice president of community services. “The cisterns we build are likely to be maintained and functioning five years from now because of our collaborative partners, yielding the long-term impact we are seeking,” he continued.

Rotary is where neighbors, friends, and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change. For more information, see, contact Rotary President Fred Collins at, and/or contact Carter at 415 151 0176 or


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