Final Post: Water Access in Chaguite, Nicaragua

My final model raises questions about reliability and its practical use. The large area covered by the model (all of Matagalpa) brings into question how specific it is to the very s mall community of Chaguite. My model also does not take into account the cleanliness of the groundwater zones it identifies. The groundwater zones that the model identifies may be contaminated, may not be drinkable or may not be available all year round.

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August Update

I have spent the majority of the past few weeks reflecting on the research I have done so far and considering how to move forward. My work is part of a larger on-campus group – MANOS. We rely on a method of research referred to as CBPR – community based participatory research. One of the core aspects of CBPR is creating an equal partnership with a community, with both sides (the community members in Chaguite and William and Mary MANOS students) participating equally in research and development projects. For my own research I was relying on the community’s collection of elevation or well depth data to satisfy our equal partnership [. However, because my final raster will cover an area much larger than the small community of Chaguite, I cannot use well data in my final raster as it would be almost impossible to collect or find accurate and reliable data for such a large area (especially considering the travel constraints caused by the political upheaval in Nicaragua right now). So, the question I am still pondering is how to involve the community in my research and whether our inability to access Nicaragua will affect the success of the final raster and the well implementation project that is the ultimate goal.
Besides exploring possible methods of involving the community, I have decided to clip my final raster to the shape of Matagalpa, a region in Nicaragua. I was originally intending to clip it Terrabona, however after reviewing similar models to the one I am creating, Matagalpa is more comparable in size than Terrabona (Terrabona is too small). I have also found high quality raster for soil and lithology types around the globe that can be downloaded straight to ArcGIS, so I will be able to use those in my final raster. Moving forward, I need to determine what weight each individual raster will have within my final raster. I also need to determine a scale for each individual raster (for example, which types of soil are best at retaining groundwater and which are worst). From there, I will calculate the final raster.