Water Water Everywhere – Where Does Our Water Come From In Cabrera

Series of water catching stations, canals and viaducts

Series of water catching stations, canals and viaducts

Do you ever speak before your brain catches up? I did that recently when one of the readers asked me a simple question. He asked “You say there is plenty of fresh water in Cabrera, but where does the water come from?” Of course, my immediate response was “We will go shoot a short video of where the water comes from”.

I suspect I had no idea what I was committing our team to do. Finally, after three trips out in the outback, we have a series of videos tracing the source of our water supply on this region of the north coast of the Dominican Republic. It took three trips up in some remote 4×4 backroads to capture this footage due to weather and the need to grab some extra equipment to move some big boulders blocking the road.

Some of these boulders blocked the roads

Some of these boulders blocked the roads

But it turned out to be a great opportunity to exercise the 4 wheel drive on my truck and we had a blast doing it. After seeing where the water comes from and how it gets to the little coastal towns I am even more convinced that we are pretty much self sufficient in this area when it comes to water. Most of the fresh water supplying this region is all gravity fed surface water being routed down from the mountains through a series of canals and viaducts. The system is all gravity fed. No electricity needed. All the regulating gates and valves in the canals are manually controlled.

Viaducts like in Roman times

Viaducts like in Roman times

In many respects, you could compare the water system that supplies Nagua, Cabrera and the other coastal towns in this region to the ancient system of aquaducts and viaducts and canals that supplied the Roman empire over 2000 years ago. I guess we are in pretty good shape here as long as it rains and the laws of gravity continue to work. There is definitely something comforting knowing that the water will continue to flow freely even if the power grid ever did go down. The toilets will still flush and the water for the crops will still flow.

If for some reason we went through a spell without rains, I understand that we are also sitting on an underground aquifer system that contains enough fresh water to supply this region of the Dominican Republic for over 100 years. We could easily tap that source with simple, low cost solar pumps if we ever needed to…. but it is hard to beat the price of gravity. It comes free for the taking.  Now the videos…..

It took 6 videos to get this story about our water source told. I will spit it up into three posts to make it a bit more manageable.

The first two videos are in this first post. In video one I introduce you to our water system and take you to the closest and easiest to access main water station to give you an idea what our water system looks like as you get closer to town.

In Part 2 of our series we start our journey up into the mountains to find the real source of the water that either flows or is directed down into our water stations and into the crop fields. In Part two we pass through several small communities/towns and catch a glimpse or two of life in these small farming towns.

In future episodes of this series you will join us as we trek through rivers, pass miles of canal systems, check out the viaducts and head up into the mountain area to the end of the roads. As we trek further away from the main highway the roads definitely require a 4 wheel drive vehicle… as you will see in the videos.

For now, it is Barry in the DR.


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