This year, Barr received an opportunity to perform pro-bono engineering work in northwestern Haiti for the nonprofit development and relief organization ODRINO (Organisation de Développement Rural Intégré du Nord-Ouest).
Hurricanes had partially damaged the Ti Boucan irrigation dam and a downstream aqueduct. Barr provided funding for three engineers to travel to Haiti, where they spent more than a week assessing the stability, strength, and hydraulic function of the dam and aqueduct. At various points on the system’s concrete irrigation canal, the engineers also evaluated gates that control the flow of water into farm fields.
In addition, Barr’s team boosted ODRINO’s ability to conduct its own regional surveys with drones and centimeter-accuracy mapping equipment, including teaching staff how to pilot drones and use photo-processing software. The nonprofit has since purchased its own drone to survey other projects. You can watch a 50-second video featuring aerial views of the dam and canal.
While in Haiti, the engineers visited several other irrigation systems that were being developed or at which ODRINO needed technical advice related to geology, pumps, wells, and canals. At one site they restored a nonfunctioning solar-powered pump station to full operation.
After returning to the U.S., the team worked with other engineers at Barr to perform hydraulic, geotechnical, and structural calculations; develop a report on the findings from the site visit; and recommend primary and secondary repairs to restore the dam, aqueduct, and canal gates, plus protect a spring on the river that supplies clean drinking water. ODRINO translated the document into French and presented it to the head of Haiti’s department of agriculture. The engineering study will allow the nonprofit to apply for international relief funding to repair the Ti Boucan dam and help ensure that families in the region continue to receive water for drinking and farming.
Contact us to learn more about our dam assessment services.
About the authors
Brian LeMon, Vice President, Senior Civil Engineer, has nearly four decades of experience with flood risk management; water supply, storage, treatment, and distribution; pumping system design; and wastewater collection and treatment. His areas of expertise include aquifer storage and recovery; well planning and design; water-supply planning and system analysis; source-water protection planning; and water-system planning.
Cory Anderson, Senior Water Resources Engineer, has 15 years of experience with water resources engineering. He specializes in hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, risk and uncertainty analysis, and probabilistic environmental modeling. His work includes storm sewer modeling, flood control design, and unsteady-state hydraulic analysis of rivers and diversions.
Jed Greenwood, Vice President, Senior Geotechnical Engineer, who has 20 years of geotechnical engineering experience, has worked extensively on the investigation and design of tailings dams for U.S. and Canadian mining clients and on flood-protection levees and dams for municipalities. His projects have ranged from design and analysis of levees, floodwalls, and dams to forensic analysis of landslides and seepage analysis and stabilization measures for natural and constructed slopes.