Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2017


Timothy Anderson

Course Title

Operations Research

Course Number

ETM 540/640


Water-supply -- Mexico -- Copper Canyon -- Management, Water resources development, Operations research, Vehicle routing problem


The Tarahumara Children’s Hospital Fund (TCHF) is a non-profit organization supporting the indigenous Tarahumara Indians in the Copper Canyon region of Chihuahua Mexico. In 2015, a project was established to improve the management of limited water resources by surveying and thereby identifying the sources most in need of repair or improvement. During the two water supply survey trips completed to date, about half of the ~220 water sources have been visited. To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a future trip, this project set out to optimize both the survey routes and the volunteer team assignments. The commercial software SAS is used to address the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP), which provides optimum routing for all the given locations by minimizing the distance traveled while performing work at each site. The team planning problem is formulated using Microsoft Excel. The spreadsheet model is used to schedule the twelve teams for the 6 day period established by the VRP results.


This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University

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