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364 N. Colorado Ave. Watertown, NY 13601


Program Activities


Chapin Living Waters serves development groups, relief organizations, and mission groups working with people in developing countries, by introducing programs for sustainable drought resistant vegetable production. Our work involves publishing training materials for workshops and seminars in drip irrigation and basic agricultural methods for subsistence farming, and assisting in the distribution of “Bucket Kits”. In regions where we have done more extensive training and follow-up, we find that “Bucket Kit” programs are becoming largely self-sustaining.



Bucket Kits: Technology in its Simplest Form

The “Bucket Kit”, consisting of 100 feet of drip hose, fittings and connecting tubing, is ideal for families in communities where running water and pumps are not available. The family connects the kit to a 5-gallon bucket elevated at least 1 meter above the ground, and fills the bucket with water twice daily. This simple, inexpensive, gravity fed system will provide enough moisture for a vegetable garden large enough to feed a small family during periods when there is absolutely no rainfall. The availability of vegetables during dry seasons not only improves the nutrients in the diet, but also reduces the need for staples such as maize by as much as one-third. Many families return to purchase additional “Bucket Kits” in order to sell vegetables at a premium during the dry season, providing funds for other family needs such as clothing, schooling, and medical care. We also have a "Super Bucket Kit" which will irrigate 10 rows 33 feet long. More information about Bucket Kits can be found by clicking here.



Basics in Vegetable Gardening

Basics in Vegetable Gardening is a one-to-two week curriculum developed by Elizabeth Adams Doerr in connection with her work in the agricultural program at a vocational school in Malawi. The course covers the most basic concepts in growing vegetables when there is no rain. The concepts are simple and mesh beautifully with programs focusing on education and community health. By introducing the “Bucket Kit” with these basic gardening concepts, the program addresses the most critical limiting factor for agriculture in many third world settings…water.



Publication of Training Resources

Chapin Living Waters offers training literature and videos for “Bucket Kit” installation, and basic techniques for small-scale vegetable production when there is no rain. In addition we publish a periodic newsletter on small scale drip irrigation projects from around the world.



Requests for Information

Chapin Living Waters staff in Watertown, NY field requests from all over the world for information regarding Bucket Kit Projects, small scale drip irrigation, drought resistant vegetable production, and training seminars. Sample kits have been sent to over 2,500 groups in 150 third world countries. Responding to requests for technical information, training materials, and training seminars requires a full time staff person. You can call or email us for current prices.



Training Programs

Chapin Living Waters, in cooperation with development agencies and mission groups already established in third world countries, assists with curriculums for demonstrations, workshops, and seminars in Bucket irrigation and drought resistant vegetable production. Typically, demonstrations and 2-3 day workshops are used with local agricultural professionals, extension workers, and development groups involved in agricultural projects. Our 1-2 week seminars are designed to train trainers in the basics of vegetable gardening and use of the “Bucket Kit.” The cooperating local agency selects nationals to be trained as trainers, who are then able to teach their neighbors to use the basic techniques they have learned. We seek to network, collaborate and partner with existing organizations.




We maintain a database of all our contacts with development organizations, mission groups, and educational and extension organizations. As larger quantities of Bucket Kits become available for overseas distribution, we are able to direct clients to a local source for information, assistance, and a supply of kits. Whenever we schedule demonstrations, workshops, or seminars, we try to notify our contacts in the region. While this requires a considerable effort in planning and coordinating projects, it is the most efficient way to spread the technology and train as many as possible in a given area. How can we help you? Click here to find out more.




We present Basic Vegetable Gardening techniques and small scale drip irrigation technology at agricultural and mission conferences. In addition, we have recruited retired professionals and train them to conduct demonstrations, workshops, and seminars in third world countries.