Living in the westernmost and driest state in the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap’s 11,400 citizens face increasingly variable weather patterns, with severe droughts becoming more common. Most streams are seasonal. Yap has several public water supply systems, but many people depend on rainwater catchment systems for their drinking water.
The Water for Life Core Team decided to focus initially on improving the quality of captured/stored rainwater through the installation of first-flush diverters in community catchment systems. Diverters have now been installed in four such community systems on Yap proper, serving >600 residents, and in five more sites on the largest of Yap’s outlying atolls, Ulithi, providing >500 people who rely solely on rainwater catchment for drinking water with access to cleaner, higher quality water.
More first flush diverter installations are planned, and Bob bag (flexible, tarpaulin-material catchment bags) systems are also being set up to build water resiliency.