Potable Water, Sanitation and Renewable Energies to improve health conditions and promote productive uses in Panama, Mexico and El Salvador
The lack of access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation in LAC causes serious impacts on human health and ecosystems. The continuity and quality of these services is constrained, on the one hand, by the state of the hydraulic infrastructure, where water losses are estimated at approximately 60%, and on the other, by the intensive consumption of energy. In addition to this, the sector's methane emissions represent 10% of the total emissions of this gas and wastewater without adequate treatment has a high capacity to contaminate water bodies. To solve the problems derived from this situation, it is essential to improve technical capacities at the local level and the mobilization of resources in the region.
In this context, in February 2022, the Water and Energy Unit of ECLAC's Natural Resources Division, with resources from the United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund (UNPDF), began to develop the capacity building project “Potable Water, Sanitation and Renewable Energies to improve the health conditions of the population and promote productive uses in the most lagging behind municipalities of the norther subregion of Latin America and the Caribbean”. This project aims to train national and local officials to create investment plans that increase energy efficiency and the sustainability of the provision of drinking water and sanitation, and that promote the generation and incorporation of renewable energy from water treatment residuals.
The project, which will last 3 years, will develop the following activities:
Analysis of the situation of potable water, sanitation and energy sources used and of the opportunities for the generation of renewable energy in treatment plants.
Meetings with national, regional and international experts.
Capacity building in selected localities for the design of investment plans in potable water, sanitation and renewable energy.
Accompaniment for the development of an investment plan in water and sanitation by local actors and for the development of an energy generation plan from wastewater treatment and/or energy efficiency plans for the systems.
At the end of the project, the selected municipalities of Mexico, Panama and El Salvador will have officials trained in replicable investment plans, co-constructed together with ECLAC and national, regional and international experts.