The Republic of Panama is organizing the Third Latin American Sanitation Conference on 29-31 May 2013. The theme is: “Universal Sanitation: New Challenges, New Opportunities”.
Latinosan is held every three years.
Latinosan 2013 consists of two events: a technical conference and a meeting of senior officials that will result in the Declaration of Panama.
- the status of sanitation at regional and country levels
- institutions and public policy
- human rights and sustainable development
- post-2015 goals: regional and global
For more information visit the conference website: latinosanpanama2013.com (Spanish only)
Vivienda minister Germán Vargas Lleras and Bucaramanga state water utility (AMB) general manager Ludwig Stünkel García at a public event. Photo: Julián Sabogal. MVCT
The Acueducto Metropolitano de Bucaramanga (AMB) is now the 5th certified public utility sanctioned by the Colombian government to approve water and sanitation projects.
In a press release the housing, cities and land ministry (MVCT) said new legislation approved in 2012 had made this delegation of powers to municipal water utilities. The ministry said this cuts red tape so that projects can be approved faster.
Previous certified public water utilities were Aguas de Cartagena, Empopasto, Aguas de Manizales and Empresas Públicas de Armenia.
Source: MVCT [in Spanish], 06 Dec 2012 ; BNamericas.com / WaterWorld.com, 06 Dec 2012
Organised by: Fundación Chile and Diario Financiero, in collaboration with AIDIS, DesalData, Global Water Intelligence, and The Nature Conservancy
This first Water Week Latinoamérica (WWLA) provides a platform for sharing water-related experiences and practices among the scientific, business, political, and civil society.
Topics include: 1) Water & Industry, 2) Water & Food Security, 3) Water Supply & Sanitation, 4) Water Governance, 5) New Water Supply, 6) Water & Conservation, 7) Water & Energy & Climate Change, and 8) Transboundary Basins.
Abstract deadline: 09 November 2012
Contact for further information and participation possibilities: firstname.lastname@example.org
The mayor of San Miguel de Velasco in Santa Cruz department, Pedro Damián Dorado, has proposed to “re-municipalise” the town’s water supply, due to poor management and quality of the service.
The mayor expressed anger at the current water operator (Cosesmi Ltd) and the Civic Committee for a recent water cut that lasted three days.
According to media reports, the Civic Committee carried out the cut intentionally because social and indigenous organizations in San Miguel de Velasco refused to attend a Committee meeting.
On 29 September 2010 there were street protests because the water being supplied by Cosemi was said to be contaminated. According to a report by the Department of Health Services, the water in San Miguel de Velasco is unfit for human consumption.
Source: Los Tiempos [in Spanish], 11 Nov 2010 ; El Deber [in Spanish]
Public services regulator, Aresep, has called on local water utilities to improve the quality of rural water and sanitation systems.
A study by Aresep of 80 rural water and systems run by local local water and sewerage associations (Asadas*) found that water meters and proper disinfection systems were lacking, and that pipes needed to be replaced. Most users rely on septic tanks because there are no sewerage and wastewater treatment systems.
Asadas run 1864 rural water supply systems, which serve 1.2 million people. They operate independently under a delegation agreement with the national water and sewerage utility AyA.
Aresep proposed measures to protect intake works and water catchment areas from contamination. A study by the National Water Laboratory, published in August 2010, revealed that 31% of rural water supplies were contaminated.
In August 2010, AyA president Oscar Nuñez announced that US$ 480 million was needed to improve and maintain rural water supply systems.
* Asociaciones Administradoras de Sistemas de Acueductos y Alcantarillados Comunales
Related web sites (in Spanish):
- Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos (Arsep) – Water
- Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA) – Rural Water Supply
Source: Alonso Mata B., La Nacion [in Spanish], 31 Aug 2010 ; InsideCostaRica.com, 02 Sep 2010
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Recycling urban wastewater and using it to grow food crops can help mitigate water scarcity problems and reduce water pollution, but the practice is not being as widely implemented as it should, according to a new UN food and agriculture organization (FAO) report . The FAO has called for governments to increase the amount of treated wastewater being used for irrigation purposes as this will reduce costs for farmers and cities and improved water quality.
The FAO report used case studies from Spain and Mexico to test methodologies for cost-benefit and cost-effective analyses of wastewater reuse projects. The Mexico case studies were drawn from three regions:
- Mexico City & Tula Valley
- Guanajuato City & La Purísima irrigation module
- Durango City & Guadalupe Victoria irrigation module
“The case studies in this report show that safely harnessing wastewater for food production can offer a way to mitigate competition between cities and agriculture for water in regions of growing water scarcity,” said Pasquale Steduto, Deputy Director of FAO’s Land and Water Division. “In the right settings, it can also help to deal with urban wastewater effluent and downstream pollution.”
 Winpenny, J. … [et al.] (2010). The wealth of waste : the economics of wastewater use in agriculture. (FAO water reports ; 35). Rome, Italy, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). xv, 129 p. Download full report
Source: FAO, 06 Sep 2010
President Evo Morales has said that the state will gradually take control of basic services such as water utilities in Bolivia. State control of basic services is necessary to avoid the private sector using them for their own gain, he said citing the example of Cochabamba utility Aguas de Tunari.
Read full article on: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 04 Mar 2010
From 1-3 February, 2010, the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre organised together with RRAS-CA Red Regional de Agua y Saneamiento de Centro-America) and RAS-ES ( Red de Agua y Saneamiento de El Salvador ) a seminar to share experiences on governance of sanitation services focusing on the Central American region. The workshop took place in San Salvador and brought together 30 participants mainly from government organisations and NGOs. The workshop was funded by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
All workshop related documents (papers and presentations) can be found on the Spanish IRC web pages by clicking here
In January 2010, the president of Sedapal, the state water utility agency, Guillermo León, was accused of too easily awarding a 13.6 million soles ( US$ 4.75 million) contract to TFKC Reprex in December 2008, a company formed just one month prior to the controversial contract selection as a representative of Brazilian Puritech. The contract was awarded for the construction of two waste water treatment plants in San Bartolo, southern Lima.
Following the controversy, Guillermo León resigned from his post as the president of Sedapal.
The scandal has led to suspicions of corruption in other tenders worth some 700 million soles (US$ 245 million).
Sedapal workers’ union head Henry Viera highlighted the need for an independent third party to oversee tender processes.
Source: Peruvian Times, 12 Feb 2010 ; BNamericas.com [subscription site], 11 Feb 2010 ; BNamericas.com [subscription site],
As reported by the Guardian earlier this month, Brazil will go ahead with the construction of a controversial hydroelectric dam in the Amazon forest. It has been estimated that thousands of the indigenous populations in the area would be displaced. Moreover, environmentalists highlighted the damage of the Belo Monte dam on the Amazon basin with . Nonetheless, Brazil’s environment ministry have gone ahead and given the project the needed environmental licence.
Views on this topic are however diverging as some advocates for the construction of the Belo Monte dam insist that it will improve the living situation of the local Indians who currently live in the area as well as cause minimal to no environmental damage to the local ecosystem and rivers. For more details please read the Guardian article.