Colombia

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Análisis del Ciclo de Proyecto del PAAR.

Contiene el análisis del Ciclo de Proyecto del Programa de Abastecimiento de Agua Rural para el Valle del Cauca, PAAR, bajo el enfoque de los Usos Multiples del Agua.

El Programa de Abastecimiento de Agua Rural – PAAR, fue creado en el año 2003 con el objetivo de suministrar agua a las comunidades rurales del Valle del Cauca, mediante la construcción o mejoramiento de sistemas de abastecimiento.

Este programa es ejecutado por el Comité Departamental de Cafeteros con recursos de la Gobernación del Valle, la CVC, ACUAVALLE, el mismo Comité Departamental de Cafeteros y los municipios del Valle del Cauca.

El Programa tiene como meta invertir entre el 2003 y el 2007 US$21’739.000, de los cuales US$9’580.000 están destinados a 206 iniciativas con disponibilidad presupuestal. A la fecha el PAAR ha intervenido 102 sistemas de abastecimiento de zonas rurales.

Este documento muestra los aspectos institucionales, sociales, técnicos, económicos y ambientales enmarcados en las intervenciones del PAAR en los municipios; analiza su ciclo de proyecto bajo la mirada del ciclo de proyectos de agua y saneamiento propuesto por Cinara e identifica limitaciones y oportunidades de este ciclo para la planificación de sistemas de uso múltiple de agua.

[Anonymous].  2006.  Colombia- Analysis of the PAAR project cycle in Valle del Cauca: does MUS fit or not?

This report (in Spanish) analyzes the project cycle of PAAR, the intermediate-level rural water supply programme in Valle del Cauca. It focuses on quality and quantity norms and tariff setting that hamper or enable productive uses of water supplies during project planning, implementation and evaluation. Recommendations are made for improvements in the programme to better support livelihoods through improved water supply.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.   Colombia: Multiple uses of water in the micro-catchment of El Chocho.

'Microcuenca de la Quebrada El Chocho'

The El Chocho catchment located in the mountains above Cali in Valle del Cauca Department, Colombia is one of the seven rivers that later flow through the city. This 10 km long and 20 km2 catchment is home to about 15000 people in a rural area that is however strongly influenced by the proximity of the city.

The El Chocho catchment located in the mountains above Cali in Valle del Cauca Department, Colombia is one of the seven rivers that later flow through the city. This 10 km long and 20 km2 catchment is home to about 15000 people in a rural area that is however strongly influenced by the proximity of the city.

The environmental authority in the department, CVC, has currently authorised 22 rights of water abstraction from the El Chocho stream. The largest authorized amounts are for six community-managed gravity-fed piped water supply systems or acueductos. These convey water to the main settlements although some of the users are dispersed over considerable distances. In total, these abstractions account for about 70% of the allocated rights and in parts they abstract all the available flow of the river. The acueductos abstract relatively large volumes of water, equivalent to between 100 and 700 lpcd.

The abstractions are especially large in the upper part of the catchment (and also one lower system, Las Palmas, further down that has two abstractions) because the systems are also used for irrigation, even though the authorisations only permit domestic use. Irrigators here specialise in growing medicinal plants and herbs and livestock are kept in some farms. Actual amounts of water supplied are, however, lower due to system losses. The system that serves the largest number of households (1650 families) in the more densely-settled lower part of the catchment (e.g. 20 persons per hectare in Montebello compared to 1-2 elsewhere) abstracts the least water on a per capita basis, partly due to limited availability of water as a result of the upstream abstractions. In this area, there is also less use of water for productive activities given the high density of settlement.

Two of the smaller systems do manage to supply water for 24 hours a day, however the others offer less continuity in service, for example 2 hours every 3 days in Montebello or 8 hours every two days in Campoalegre. Because of the low continuity, many households in these locations have large storage tanks. In Campoalegre, productive uses at the household level have also been banned with the support of the health secretary. In some of the other systems, productive uses are permitted although technically the users should also have a derogation (on a household basis) from the environmental authority to permit irrigation use. In one system, Las Palmas, there are two separate distribution networks supplying better quality water abstracted further upstream for domestic use, and poorer quality water taken further downstream for irrigation of gardens and some crops.

The systems have low flat-rate tariffs (USD2.8-3.6 per month in the larger systems) that, in general and given the high non-payment rates (25-50%), are not sufficient to cover operation and maintenance costs. These systems suffer from low continuity of service and amongst other factors, including poverty, therefore people are reluctant to pay their bills. One of systems is very well-managed, largely because of a motivated and powerful leader, and has a stepped tariff with low default rates on payment (5%). Because this system is well organised, they attract more investment, however, communities with less capacity to organise and manage find it more difficult to get resources and are caught in a vicious cycle of lack of resources and poor services.

Additionally to the domestic water abstractions, the El Chocho, in the upper part of the catchment is used for both legal and illegal abstractions by households settled outside the main villages. As well as the pressure of abstractions, this small catchment has suffered considerable environmental change linked to land use change, increases in population, discharge of untreated domestic wastewater, poor management of solid wastes, and discharge of the acid waters from numerous small coal mines. These circumstances have led to competition over access to water and concern over the degradation of water sources by activities that affect the quality of water in the stream. However, powerless to intervene, people have been forced to accept most of these impacts, and the environmental authority has relatively information or capacity to address the problems.

In order to face these challenges that threaten their access to a scarce resource in high demand, communities have had to improve their skills and organisation. People have tried for example, unsuccessfully, to organise a water committee for the catchment. Lack of resources, support and capacities were reasons cited for the failure of this initiative.

This report presents an analysis of the catchment, describes the competition generated between water users and the role of both internal and external stakeholders, and proposals for strategies and measures that could protect the catchment and ensure sustainable water supplies in the future. These include: to monitor water quality (currently there is no monitoring of a source that supplies 15000 people) and the wastewater discharges, to develop and monitor environmental management plans for the coal mines, to raise awareness on improved agricultural and sanitation practices, strengthening the concerned environmental authority, controlling future settlement, supporting local water organizations, and facilitating better coordination between internal and external stakeholders.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Documento de caso acueuducto La Palma Tres Puertas.

Contiene el caso de estudio desarrollado en el acueducto de La Palma - Tres Puertas en el municipio de Restrepo (Valle del Cauca - Colombia)

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Colombia- Multiple uses of water in the La Palma -Tres Puertas water supply system, Valle del Cauca.

The La Palma - Tres Puertas water supply system is located in a rural area of the Restrepo Municipality in Valle del Cauca Department, Colombia. This system provides water to 1800 people living in 7 villages. It was built 30 years ago by the Coffee Committee but improved in 2004, when the PAAR Program increased the quantity of water via an additional water supply pipe from another stream. Water could then be supplied four times a week, compared to just two times a week previously.

People who live in the settlements served by the water supply system have developed agricultural activities in and around the household: in 83% of the households there is one productive activity at least, like gardening or keeping livestock. Those activities demand water and people use the water supply system to satisfy these needs. In 18% of households, people use the water supply for livestock, 25% irrigate crops and 39% use water for both keeping livestock and irrigate crops. The system supplies 98% of domestic water needs. This situation of mixed use results in high levels of water consumption: whereas 30% of households have consumptions under 40 m3 every two months (133 lpcd) (typically domestic users), 53% have consumptions between 41 – 100 m3 every two months (137 – 333 lpcd) indicating that they use the system to support livelihoods, and 17% register consumptions over 100 m3 every two months (> 333 lpcd) linked to developing commercial activities.

In the villages, 37% of household heads are farm owners and 22% work for other farm owners. These occupations depend directly on the water supply system. Most of the people served by this system have incomes between US$ 90 / month and US$180 / month. Such low incomes limit the capacity to pay of users to pay for the service. At the moment the fee is US$ 1.4 per month, for those who have water consumptions up to 25 m3, and US$ 0.07 for each m3 extra. The water supply system has many technical and management problems, that make it difficult to provide the service. Water pipes are obsolete and the community organisation is weak, with all the responsibility assumed by its president. Community participation is low and the environmental authority provides little support. There is no control of a multi-national that plants commercial trees up to the border of the stream in one of the micro-catchments, upon which the water supply system is dependent. This has apparently caused serious impacts on the quality and availability of water.

This investigation analysed this water supply system as a “de-facto” multiple uses system, and identifies proposals in order to improve the service. This proposals are related to water resource conservation, reducing loss of water in the system, improving the use of water in domestic activities, using alternative sources of water, improving the quality of drinking water at home, efficient use of water for productive activities (irrigation and keeping livestock), improving management and implementing different fees for the different users of the water supply system.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Colombia- Multiple uses of water in the Cajamarca irrigation system.

The villages of Cajamarca and San Isidro, located in the municipality of Roldanillo in the Cauca Valley of Colombia, are supplied with water from two systems. Both systems are gravity-fed piped water supplies that tap perennial mountain streams. One is primarily for irrigation, and supplies both villages. The other is primarily for domestic use, but only supplies Cajamarca. Both systems, however, are actually used for a combination of domestic and productive uses. They play a vital role in the livelihoods of the 700 people living in the two communities, which as a result, are relatively prosperous. The two systems are managed by the same community-based case studywater organization.

The aqueducto (the domestic system) was developed in two phases (1954 and 1995), both with the external financial investment of the government. The current system includes an intake about 5 km above the valley, a compact treatment plant, storage tank, a pvc piped network, and household connections for all the families in Cajamarca. San Isidro, a newer settlement at higher elevation, is not supplied by the system.

The compact treatment plant is probably not the ideal technology for this community, being costly and difficult to run and the operators have not been trained. As a result, the quality of water supplied by the system is poor. Most people however, express satisfaction with the water quality. Users of the irrigation system in San Isidro boil the water from this system when it is used for domestic purposes, and in fact, the users of the domestic system in Cajamarca may be putting themselves at more risk as they believe this water to be safer (and fewer boil it) when in fact it is not.

The irrigation system that serves both villages and nearly all households, constructed in 1996, is also a piped network with storage and connections (a single time) near the boundary of each farm plot. This system was also built with government investment. Sprinklers are used by most farmers to irrigate profitable horticultural crops like pepper, tomato, and cabbage, although recently some farmers have also adopted drip irrigation. Neither, the domestic nor irrigation system have meters at either household or system level.

Domestic water is supplied at a low, flat-rate tariff of US$2.4 per month. Given the high average rates of consumption (370 liters per person per day when calculated at the treatment plant, however, loses may well be half of this amount and are unknown), this is equivalent to a cost per m3 of US$0.04. Irrigation water is charged according to the size of plot, type of use (including livestock and fishponds) and economic status with an median charge of about US$2.9 which is equivalent to about 0.0043 US$/m3 (based on the average available supply from the system before loses, which again are likely to be large, of 22m3/household/day). Most users believe the tariffs to be fair and affordable, and the default rate on the combined quarterly bills for both systems is low. Users find it easier to pay the quarterly bills matching cycles of their income from irrigated crops. The income from these tariffs is sufficient to cover the operation (including full-time operators for each system, who in practice work together) and maintenance costs, including chemicals for the inefficient treatment plant. Some money is also invested in tree-planting to protect the water supply catchment.

The villages are fortunate to be supplied by two reliable perennial streams, and the communities have undertaken active measures to protect the catchment including planting trees and constructing fences to exclude livestock and prevent stream bank erosion. These catchment protection measures are programmed by the water organization, and are a locally - based initiative rather than being undertaken for the environmental authority which also requires such actions. There are rules that everyone should participate in catchment protection works. People believe that this has led to increased streamflow, and ensured availability of water for the systems. Most catchment protection measures have been undertaken in the catchment of the irrigation system, due to the non-cooperation of the owner of most of the land that forms the other catchment of the domestic system. Further measures taken to conserve water resources include control of irrigation techniques. Farmers are not allowed to use furrow or flood irrigation methods and must use sprinklers or drip to improve irrigation water use efficiency. In summer, access to irrigation water is limited to turns every 3 days.

A single community-managed organization (Asodisriego) now runs both the water supply systems. Originally this organization was just for the irrigation system, but when the domestic system encountered management problems in 1995, the community asked Asodisriego to manage both systems. The same community leaders have been involved in running this organization since mid 1990s, which is both a strength and a weakness. These leaders have developed a strong management capacity, including the ability to make and use linkages at the municipal and department level to secure resources and influence. However, it leaves the system vulnerable to the loss of a few key individuals and thus, potentially compromising future sustainability.

Community members do participate in activities such as catchment protection and in meetings where they are kept informed, however, decision making is in the hands of a few leaders. As they have managed the systems well, most people are satisfied with this situation. Strong leadership has been critical. Despite not having a legal basis for such multiple-use water supply systems and no external support beyond occasional investment in infrastructure, the community have been able to develop their own vision and mode of operation for the systems because of good leadership and trust of the community.

The two water supply systems have some common characteristics. Both supply relatively large volumes of water at low cost. As well as meeting domestic water demands, this has enabled the residents of Cajamarca and San Isidro to develop a thriving agricultural basis to their livelihoods. As well as 99% of the residents being engaged in irrigated agriculture that generates 3 or 4 crops and associated income a year, many are involved in livestock production. Livestock, including raising cows and pigs, are seen as a source of additional income and also savings. Smaller livestock, especially chickens, are common. In Cajamarca, where people have access to both water systems, most people use the domestic system for their livestock because it provides water closer to home where livestock are kept, and because of the perceived better quality. Incomes are very variable, but families may earn between US$80 and 1200 from their cultivation activities alone.

The multiple use water systems in Cajamarca and San Isidro have played a vital role in improving the livelihoods of the residents. Previously they used to grow less water intensive but less lucrative crops like tobacco that were harvested once a year, whereas now they are able to engage securely in year-round irrigation and livestock production. This has helped reduce migration from the village, increase the value of land, and reduce conflicts over previously much scarcer water resources.

The full report is available in Spanish.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Documento de caso Cajamarca.

Contiene el caso de estudio desarrollado en Cajamarca en el municipio de Roldanillo (Valle del Cauca - Colombia)

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Report of 2nd workshop, Valle del Cauca MUS learning alliance, Colombia.

This workshop held on 15 July 2005 had three objectives:

  1. to further discuss and define how the MUS learning alliance in the Valle del Cauca will operate
  2. to select case studies for joint documentation and research involving the learning alliance members
  3. to arrange field visits to these case studies/ pilot projects.

Seven possible case studies were proposed prior to the workshop and are each summarised in this report. Three case studies were selected for further investigation based upon the priorities of the learning alliance members. These were:

  • La Palma – Tres Puertas (Restrepo): the project PAAR (a department level rural water supply programme) is re-designing the rural water system in this settlement based upon a demand of 40m3/household/month in order to meet household-level productive as well as domestic needs.
  • Minidistrito de Riego de Cajamarca (Roldanillo): there are three communities in this area, two both have separate irrigation and domestic systems, and one has an irrigation system that is also used for domestic purposes. The case study will study the advantages and disadvantages of having a multiple use system (in one village) compared to two single use systems in the other two villages.
  • Microcuenca El Chocho (Cali): this catchment close to the Cali suffers from water scarcity, and piped water systems struggle to supply sufficient water for both domestic and productive uses. At the same time systems are affected by productive uses upstream.

Field visits to these sites were arranged for September 2005 and case studies will be completed by the end of 2005. Preliminary results will be discussed in the next Valle del Cauca learning alliance meeting to be held as an additional event of the AGUA2005 conference on 3 November 2005..

Four student research (MSc thesis) projects were also presented and discussed in the workshop. One of these is in the Valle de Cauca focusing on the domestic water system in a small town (Costa Rica) where pig rearing is an important water use. The other three studies are located in the neighbouring department of Quindio (where a learning alliance will also be developed on multiple uses of water) on themes relating to the legal and institutional framework relating to water supply systems and multiple use, catchment level water management, and farm level water management.

A number of specific actions for follow up work were identified in the workshop including a workshop to be organised by the PAAR programme on multiple uses of rural water supply systems. Annexes to the report include details of participants and further information.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Report of 1st workshop, Valle del Cauca MUS learning alliance, Colombia.

Many rural and peri-urban water supply systems are used by families for productive as well as domestic use. However, in Colombia, productive uses of domestic systems are not adequately understood, recognised or planned for. This leads to a loss of livelihood opportunities for households that need to augment their income and food availability.

A workshop was held in Cali on 16 November 2004 involving organisations who were interested in finding better ways to manage and support multiple uses of water supply systems. The 28 participants were from government, NGOs, research institutes, and water supply committees. The activities of each of these organisations are summarised in this report.

The participants agreed in the workshop to jointly form a learning alliance to work together on research to improve policy and practice relating to the multiple use of water supply systems. This learning alliance will be supported by Cinara and the international research project on Multiple Use Systems (MUS) involving Bolivia in the Andes and other countries in Africa and Asia.

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