More security for water supplies in Peru’s cities
Title: Programme for the modernisation and strengthening of drinking water and wastewater management (PROAGUA II)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation (Ministerio de Vivienda, Construcción y Saneamiento (MVCS))
Overall term: 2015 to 2022
Peru’s population and ecosystems are extremely susceptible to climate risks: the country displays seven of the nine characteristics that make regions particularly vulnerable according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As well as the periodic weather phenomenon known as El Niño, which, among other things, brings heavy rainfall in the Andes, an intensification of extreme climate events in the region can also be expected. What’s more, water resources are very unevenly distributed across the country.
In addition to the increasing risks posed by climate change, Peru faces the challenges of ongoing urbanisation, rising water consumption and increasing pollution of natural water sources through wastewater. The urban water supply is neither resilient nor adaptable enough to cope with this. Water security is threatened on the one hand by the lack of coordination on water management between ministries, water supply utilities, local water authorities and regional governments. On the other hand, the non-sustainable use of water resources also poses a risk.
Ensuring the sustainability and climate resilience of water supply and wastewater disposal is a high political priority for the Peruvian Government. The Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation (MVCS) is responsible for the policies, strategies and development of legal regulations in the water sector.
Water security has been improved for Peru’s urban population.
The project builds on the results and impacts achieved to date, particularly the implementation of the modernisation law, the introduction of the dual education system and the commercialisation of wastewater management. Since 2019, the focus of the project has been on reducing the vulnerability of the urban water supply to climate change.
The project advises MVCS, the Technical Organization for the Administration of Sanitation Services (OTASS), the National Water Authority (ANA), the National Training Institute for the Construction Industry (SENCICO), selected river basin commissions, and selected urban water utilities in Lima, Trujillo and Piura, and other parties.
Activities are implemented in four areas of action:
- Resilience to extreme weather events in the cities of Lima, Trujillo and Piura: the project is improving the information base, analysis, quantification and modelling of water supply risks and providing support in the establishment of efficient coordination mechanisms and in the planning of measures to allow the Ministry of Finance to speed up fund disbursement, meaning measures can be implemented faster.
- Protection of water resources: the project is improving wastewater management and helping to reduce the discharge of inadequately treated wastewater. To this end, it is revising the standards for the planning and operation of wastewater treatment plants as well as for their monitoring by supervisory authorities and providing support for improving operational capacities at more than 40 existing wastewater treatment plants. It is also providing support in establishing a certification system for wastewater treatment plants, monitoring wastewater discharge from commercial and industrial enterprises into the public sewerage system, and reusing treated wastewater.
- Vocational education in the water sector: the project is providing support in the introduction of a skills certification system and a dual education system. A greater number of professionals will help the country implement measures for water supply security and ensure the proper operation of wastewater treatment plants.
- SDG and NDC monitoring: the project is providing support in the establishment of an efficient monitoring system and in updating the plan for transparent implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement.
The project is also supporting measures to strengthen the resilience of the water supply to the consequences of pandemics. The project is cofinanced by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The consortium Akut Partner – AHT Group AG is commissioned with support services.
- Cooperation between the various institutions and stakeholders in the water supply sector has improved, particularly between MVCS and water utilities on the one hand and between ANA and river basin commissions on the other.
- The coronavirus pandemic has created awareness of the systemic importance of water supply and wastewater disposal. Together with MVCS, the project has developed, and partly also implemented, additional short-term and long-term measures for the parallel strengthening of resilience to the consequences of pandemics and of climate change. This includes arranging for water supply utilities to exchange experiences in virtual meetings, developing pandemic crisis plans, analysing the vulnerability of the supply chains and supporting SENCICO in digitalising theoretical learning content for technical training.