Colombia working towards water solutions to slake La Guarija's thirst

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Colombia's housing, cities and land minister, Elsa Noguera, has announced the allocation of an additional 3.3bn pesos (US$1.13mn) to build support systems for deep water wells in the city of Riohacha, La Guajira department.

These systems are expected to reduce the risk of water shortages in urban areas and extend supply services for an additional three hours per day, according to a release on the presidential website.

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The contract for the construction of the support systems was signed on June 29 for a total of 17bn pesos.

The project is part of the 'alliance for water' program in La Guajira, which includes construction of 100 new water wells, the renewal of 300 others and creation of 10 water storage reservoirs.


The ministry will also work with the Spanish agency for international development cooperation (AECID) to finance a pilot project for the implementation of the regional aqueduct model in La Guajira.

The project would cover the region with potable water production points with appropriate technology to assure reliable operation and maintenance of the system, Noguera said.

A total of 9.5bn pesos are expected to be invested in the pilot project.


Mininterior also said that, in April, it collaborated with international charity organization Oxfam to help resolve serious water shortages faced by indigenous communities in Uribia municipality in the arid department.

Rural water solutions were provided after the investment of 1.3bn pesos, benefiting 922 families and 5,500 people. These solutions included optimization of seven water sources, rehabilitation of two supply systems and construction of two new deep water wells.

Just last year, La Guajira was described by BBC World as facing a massive humanitarian crisis after three years of extensive drought, lack of infrastructure, high corruption, isolation and neglect on the part of the state.

La Guarija is located in the extreme north of the country.