Colombia
News

Environ. Min. outlines water achievements, plans

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, March 25, 2004
Colombia's environment ministry said that potable water supply was extended to 1.45mn people in 2003, almost twice the stated goal, according to a release by state news agency SNE in connection with World Water Day. A similar figure benefited from sewerage service for the first time with 942,000 new service users. To promote water conservation, the government has ordered the implementation of solid-waste management plans, according to the release, to strengthen recycling activity. The plan includes campaigns to affect greater waste separation at the source to avoid the need to create more landfills. Under law 812 of the national development plan, the environment ministry wants to encourage larger water utilities to invest in smaller utilities to help increase service coverage by giving a 40% income tax exemption. The ultimate aim is to help create regional water utilities. The government also wants to capitalize 10 water companies in the next four years by allowing workers and local residents to buy shares in them. Each share will cost less than 1,000 pesos (about US$0.37).

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