Bringing the technology developed at Cornell to communities around the world requires Partners that can facilitate the construction and management of the plants.Implementation Partners work with AguaClara-Cornell and individual communities in every AguaClara project.
The responsibilities of the Implementation partners are to:
- Identify potential plant sites by conducting the necessary site assessments
- Assess the appropriates of AguaClara technology for a particular site
- Engage the community to promote acceptance of the technology
- Engage local actors, such as health centers, for education and monitoring purposes
- Establish supply chains for construction materials and chemicals required
- Provide the structural design for the plant using local materials, strictly adhering to the AguaClara reactor and hydraulic design
- Provide architectural design for the building housing the plant
- Create project budgets and write funding proposals
- Supervise the construction of the water treatment plant
- Train plant operators from the community to operate, maintain, problem solve, keep records, and publicly display water quality data for accountability
- Work with communities to establish water boards to manage plant operation
- Transfer ownership of the plant to the local municipality or water board
- Monitor and review plant operating records and follow up on any performance issues
- Provide lifetime supervision and technical support
New Implementation partners should choose initial communities located close to the Implementation partner's offices to simplify logistics and reduce mobilization costs. Cost savings can also be realized if the partner builds clusters of water treatment plants in neighboring communities to enable a single structural engineer to supervise multiple construction sites, and to facilitate training of and knowledge sharing between plant operators.
Applicants to become implementation partners must work with a current implementation partner to receive training. This South to South training is critical to ensure that new partners learn the nuts and bolts of implementation without having to making many mistakes in the first projects. Applicants will be certified as implementation partners after their first water treatment plant is operated successfully by the community.
Potential Implementation Partners must meet the following criteria:
- Have engineering and project management expertise in infrastructure
- Understand and be able to effectively negotiate the legal and regulatory environment both at the national and local levels
- Have expertise in working with communities to facilitate community empowerment to manage their own water supply system.
- Have a permanent presence in the region where they are proposing to build facilities so that communities have access to ongoing technical support on a permanent basis. An alternative is to create a technical support system perhaps based on the circuit rider model used in rural United States and some other countries.
- Be prepared to build many AguaClara facilities. Building one AguaClara facility requires a large investment in training and capacity building and long term commitment to provide technical support to the community. Thus an implementation partner must be prepared to build many AguaClara plants so that economies of scale work in their favor especially for the ongoing technical support of the communities.
- Build, operate, transfer is a well know infrastructure implementation strategy. The AguaClara model draws on that model, but recognizes the need for greater emphasis on community assessment, capacity building, and a low level of oversight and ongoing technical support after the project has been fully transferred to the municipality or local water board.