Andean Development Fund approves $77 million loan for water project in Lima

The Andean Development Fund, CAF, has approved a $77 million loan for a project aimed at improving access to potable water in Lima, state news agency Andina reported.

The project includes building a water treatment plant at Huachipa in east Lima, a few kilometers east of  Atarjea, where the water authority, Sedapal, has its main treatment plant for the capital. The additional facilities will provide drinking water for some 2.4 million people who live in Lima’s northern and eastern districts.   Currently, much of the water distribution in the marginal areas is by truck, and people store their water in cisterns or oil drums. 

The project also includes the construction of a 27 kilometer-long (about 16.8 miles), distribution network to transport the water from Huachipa to Puente Piedra, a district in northern Lima.

The funds will also be used to construct five reservoirs with a capacity of 23,000 cubic meters.

According to Andina, the loan represents about 28 percent of the total cost of the project which is slated at $272.25 million.

Upon taking office in July 2006, President Alan Garcia immediately launched a national plan called “Agua para todos,” or “water for all,” with the goal of providing universal access to water to millions of impoverished Peruvians — most of them in Lima — by the end of his mandate in 2011.

In 2008,  works for this same project  began with the building of two, five-kilometer tunnels –part of the distribution network– to bring water down from Chosica, east of Lima.  The works were financed with part of a $155 mn loan from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, JICA. 

But water supplies along Peru’s coast, where the majority of the nation’s population is located, are scarce and fragile. Andean glaciers are in a state of accelerated melt due to global climate change and Lima’s growing populations is making increasing demands on its aquifer and runoff from rivers, which are highly contaminated with metals from mines in the highlands.

The director of the National Hydraulic Laboratory at the National University of Engineering, Julio Kuroiwa, said he expects Lima’s water supply to decrease by 25 percent over the next 10 years.

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