A paper presented by Paul Polak, Deepak Adhikari, Bob Nanes, Dan Salter and Sudarshan Surywanshi and Jack Keller on 21-23 January 2003, Muldersdrift, South Africa.
Although Colombia is rich in water resources, scarcity increasingly affects water supply in various regions of the country. This is mainly a scarcity of adequate water quality. This is also the situation in the
Department of the Valle del Cauca. The environmental authority of this Department (CVC) has contracted Cinara to contribute to resolving water use problems in a specific micro-catchment and at the
same time to develop methodologies that allow the replication of the work in other areas under jurisdiction of the CVC. The area selected for this project is the ‘Ambichinte’ micro-catchment located on the western slopes of the Andes, in the Municipality of Dagua. This paper presents both the methodology and results of the first phase; a participative appraisal of the water situation in the micro-catchment. The appraisal was done with the participation of both the community and institutions. It looked at the impact of water in all its aspects on the lives of people in the catchment, and drew out gender and poverty differences. Besides, the appraisal has tried to identify the demand and value people have for management and protection of the micro-watershed and for access to water for both domestic and productive uses. The demand was assessed by a Willingness To Pay (WTP) study in combination with the collection of other demand indicators. [authors abstract]