Innovative Rainwater Catchment System Being Evaluated on Majuro

Last month a new portable water storage tank was introduced to Majuro by CMI Land Grant’s Jina David and Trisha Macomber from the University of Hawaii’s Rainwater Catchment Program.  The project’s focus is to find low cost solutions for potable water storage, particularly for the outer islands. What they came up with is the “bob” tank.

The “bob” tank is a sack tank that is easy to transport and only weighs 8 pounds when empty. When folded up it can fit into an airline hand carry bag.  In spite of its small size when empty, bob can hold 360 gallons of water.

These tanks were developed by Enterprise Works, a division of Relief International. Enterprise Works was awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help find an affordable solution to potable water storage.  When learning about these tanks, project leader Trisha Macomber contacted Enterprise Works and requested the tanks as a solution for island water storage. She obtained a small grant and was able to buy a dozen tanks and bring them to Majuro.  Bringing the bob tanks to Majuro is the first project Relief International has allowed outside their own study sites in Uganda. The Marshall Islands were recognized as an ideal testing location for tropical island use of the bob tanks.

Jina David & John Zedkeia from Marshall Islands Land Grant worked with the team from Hawaii to set up the first of a dozen tanks that will be tested in RMI.  The bob tank’s usefulness and appropriateness as a water storage solution on Majuro and the outer islands will be evaluated.

These tanks were originally being considered for homeowners but local visitors to the first demo site in Uliga stated that these tanks will also be particularly useful to copra farmers and construction crews that move around a lot and need a simple portable tank.