Working on the design for the new school has given me a chance to delve into researching technology that is simple, affordable, yet not very well known. Take the treadle pump for instance. It was surprising to me that in 4 and a half years of engineering school, not one time had I ever come across a water pump that can meet a very much-needed solution to irrigation and water distribution problems. Call it ignorance, call it lack of awareness, call it what you like; but it is very exciting to me that this great piece of equipment exists and can easily be manufactured locally. It should allow kids to pump water from a distant pond to the school building where they can filter it just outside the classroom, rather than hauling buckets of water back and forth hours a day.
Now I just need to figure out who can build a stand for the water tank. Let me know if you know any local metal workers, or structural engineers.