Medellín's Aburrá valley council looking to resume control of water resources

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Colombian city Medellín's Aburrá valley district metropolitan council is looking to revert a presidential decree handing over management of the area's water resources to regional government corporation Corantioquia, a council spokesperson told BNamericas.

The decree, issued January 21, transferred control of the country's 33 regional autonomous corporations (CARs) to the government, after allegations that poor management had helped cause the severe floods that hit the country late last year. It also transferred control of some local resources to the CARs.

The Aburrá valley council has spent over 15bn pesos (US$8mn) in a plan to protect and preserve the river basin. However, that plan will now be carried out by Corantioquia.

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Council representatives, including Medellín mayor Alonso Salazar, plan to meet with national government authorities to try to revert the decision, the spokesperson said.

In the meantime, the entity is no longer authorizing permission to use surface or groundwater, and cannot ensure that the river basin is being managed according to the law, the spokesperson added.

The Aburrá valley city council was created in 1980 to act as the district's planning, development, environment and transport authority. The entity is led by the Medellín city mayor.