LatAm needs to invest US$12.5bn a year to improve water access, says CAF

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Latin America must triple its investment to US$12.5bn a year to provide universal drinking water access and significantly improve sewerage coverage by 2030, development bank CAF said in a report.

Currently, the region only pours US$4.43bn a year into water projects, equivalent to 0.11% of its GPD. That ratio should increase to 0.3% to secure 99% drinking water access, 94.4% access sanitation services and have 80% of its urban areas equipped with storm-drainage networks, CAF said.

Latin America has achieved 90% access to drinking water, but one fourth of those connections are precarious or unstable. Furthermore, less than 30% of the population has access to water treatment services.

CAF also said water efficiency is low in the region, with 40% of treated water lost due to broken pipes, mismanaged equipment, low tariffs and high delinquency rates. This inefficiency costs US$5.78bn pear year, according to CAF.

Some 31.2% of the funds need to go to the expansion and improvement of sewerage systems, 18.2% to drinking water, 13.4% to drainage networks, 13.3% to depuration plants, and 11% to the search of new water sources.

"The largest investment deficits are in normalizing informal services, in storm drains, in broadening the sources of collection and in treatment," CAF said in its report.

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