Arid Lima among most wasteful cities for water consumption

Peru’s capital Lima is one of the most wasteful consumers of water among major cities despite a shortage of the precious resource, according to Nicole Bernex Weiss, the academic director at the Catholic University’s (PUCP) Center for Applied Geographical Research.

The per capita consumption of water in Lima, the world’s second largest desert city after Cairo, Egypt, reaches 250 liters per day, compared to 120-140 litres per day in cities in the European Union, daily Gestion reported.

In Cairo, the per capita consumption of water is 100 liters per day. However while Cairo sits on the edge of the Nile river, which has an average volume flow of 2,830m3 per second, Lima has the Rimac river which has a flow of 10m3 per second.

“We are the most wasteful of water, despite there being a worrying shortage,” Bernex Weiss said.

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.

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.

By the end of the year, potable water coverage is expected to cover 93 percent of the population in Lima, state news agency Andina reported.

The vice president of state water agency Sedapal, Victor Lopez, while agreeing that the use of water is a concern in Lima, said that those who have received water from the Agua para todos campaign use between 50-60 litres per day.

According to Lopez, one of the main problems is that water use is not measured. “People consume more water because it is not measured,” Lopez said. “We have programs to install meters in the short term, which will allow us to regulate users that don’ts have meters and be able to, in one way, improve the quality of service.”

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *