Video Case Study - Haiti Outreach Feature Image Arrow Gold Atlas

Haiti Outreach Transforms Water Access with High-Accuracy Maps

Synopsis: Haiti Outreach Arrow GNSS Story

Haiti Outreach is on a mission is to bring clean drinking water to 100% of Haitian communes. They’re using Arrow Gold GNSS, mWater, EPANET, and community engagement to transform how water access is addressed. In this video, you’ll hear from Haiti Outreach Director Neil Van Dine and Eos Positioning Systems CTO Jean-Yves Lauture on the importance of combining spatial strategy with a human element.

Jean-Yves Lauture

I was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Haiti is a beautiful country; we would just go horseback riding, hunting, fetching water at the spring and just dwell with nature. Back then there was no electricity, no running water. However, living in a developed country like Canada we take things for granted sometimes. I turn on my water faucet and I have water flow. In Haiti sometimes you have to walk miles to get water. Kids carry a bucket on their head and walk long distances just to fetch water for their families and then they have to boil it to make it potable.


Water, which is the first substance that every single human being needs after air is readily available here and sometimes wasted but really scarce in that poor country. We need to solve this problem. How can we change make this happen? A nonprofit organization approached us and their mission is to bring water to the villages.

Neil Van Dine

We said, well we need to have a plan, how would we know? How much work is there to do? We need to

know where all the houses are and we need to know where all the water is. We have mapped every water point across a third of the country.

When I saw that, I said someone is doing something. I didn’t know how much mapping was being done in Haiti to bring water. And that’s when we decided to participate in this project.

Neil Van Dine

We know how many water systems are in these towns but we don’t have any

Information. There are no plans, no studies, and there’s really no data whatsoever on these water systems to be able to make decisions. One of the tools that are out there is a model called EPANET. It’s a software that allows you to model the flow inside a water system if you know the pipe diameter and the elevations that it’s on. You then plug that information into a model and it will tell you whether the water will flow or whether it won’t. So to do that we needed to have a high-resolution GPS. Now, Arrow Gold could get us within a foot; it rapidly captures that information and combines it with this tool. But data is only good if it’s actionable and because there’s no framework for dealing with that common resource. Usually because common resources are in poor condition in this region. How does this community that’s served by that water network work together to maintain that whole thing? So we changed our methodology to start dealing with it as a management breakdown. It’s about changing the conversation in the community. So now it’s a lot more than just the WELL, it’s about having a bucket and the bucket needs to be clean and the bucket needs to have a lid. They need to wash their hands and everyone needs to have a latrine and so on and so forth. They start to move from a community trying to get a well to a community that’s more centered on having clean water.

Jean-Yves Lauture

And this is where we see that technology is not just for infrastructure but there’s a human dimension also where you bring something positive to people and make their lives better.

Neil Van Dine

It seems like a very small difference but it’s a very big difference in their world; they start to create a future that they can live in to. At the end of the day, it’s very very powerful.


mWater screenshot zoomed in on potable water access and lack thereof in one Haitian commune
A black point represents a household, school, or related institution. A circle represents an area covered within a 500-meter walking distance to a water source. Green circles are the best, indicating access to clean drinking water. Most households fell outside these areas in red (contaminated) or yellow (nonfunctioning) access zones.
Haiti Outreach uses mWater to identify and track which water sources they will make potable, repair, and build (new).
EPANET allows Haiti Outreach to input data about existing water-distribution sources (called "SAEPs"). They can then model where flow will fail and design improvements to existing systems or build new ones.
Community outreach helped Haiti Outreach double the success of water infrastructure management.
Haiti Outreach Director Neil Van Dine meets with local Haitian commune members.
Kids enjoy clean drinking water at a local hand pump.
Fetching water is a daily task, often performed by children, in Haiti.
Haitian children pump drinking water from a hand pump that resulted from the Haiti Outreach project.
Community outreach helped Haiti Outreach double the success of water infrastructure management
Kids pump potable water from a water source installed by Haiti Outreach and managed by the local community.
Haitian children pump drinking water from a hand pump that resulted from the Haiti Outreach project.
A Haitian field worker captures the elevation of an existing water system by using Arrow Gold with Atlas. He walks the line and pauses to capture data at about every 50 meters.

You May Also Like One of These Success Stories

Customer Spotlight: Josiah Thomas betters his community with GNSS

Customer Spotlight: Josiah Thomas uses Arrow Gold and ArcGIS Collector to mark farmland, through his nonprofit ADF Haiti, across the Haitian island.

Haiti Outreach Improves Potable Water Access with Atlas

Haiti Outreach involves locals in its water mission. They use mWater to prioritize work and Arrow Gold with Atlas to model distribution systems in EPANET.