A buzz of excitement filled the room. About 30 Living Waters for the World (LWW) water purification system operators were gathering together for the first time here.

The LWW ― a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters ― “Operators’ Encounter” was organized by representatives of the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD), Accion Medica Cristiana (AMC), Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Over the past couple years, as more PC(USA) congregations are showing interest in installing LWW water purification systems in Nicaragua, CEPAD, AMC and LWW have begun the process of forming an in-country coordinating network for the water systems called LWW-NICANET.

The network’s vision over the next three years is to promote the sustainability of LWW water projects while at the same time strengthening the capacity of its members. Beyond serving as a liaison for communication between partners, communities and LWW, the network believes it can contribute a unique perspective on the already important work that LWW is doing in Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in Latin America.

Because the new network is based in-country, local partners can contribute by staying informed about national water laws and health department regulation of the LWW water systems.

The network has also been working on selection criteria for potential installation sites to then be able to help match U.S. partners with local communities as potential system operating partners.

Through its development work, CEPAD understands how essential water is and what a difference access to clean water can make for the health of a community. Though water projects are not per se part of CEPAD’s development strategy, the collaboration with LWW allows the installation of water purification systems that are sustainable and promote further partnership.