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"Promoting Water Sustainability": ECLAC Participates in CODIA Workshop on Water Quality, Wastewater Management, and Valorization of Wastewater

30 October 2023|Briefing note

The workshop organized by the Conference of Ibero-American Water Directors (CODIA) took place from October 30 to November 1, 2023, in Montevideo, Uruguay. The workshop focused on water quality, wastewater management, and wastewater valorization in Latin America. It addressed pressing issues related to water quality and wastewater in the region, including the lack of adequate sewage systems, industrial and agricultural pollution, and the importance of wastewater treatment and valorization.

The CODIA workshop on "Water Quality, Wastewater Management, and Valorization of Wastewater" was held from October 30 to November 1, 2023, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

In Latin America, the quality of water bodies faces numerous challenges, primarily due to industrial, agricultural, and urban pollution. This pollution poses a significant threat to the health and safety of rivers, lakes, and aquifers in the region. Among the most critical challenges is the proper management of wastewater generated by the population and industries. Many cities and communities lack adequate sewage systems, leading to the direct discharge of untreated wastewater into water bodies. These discharges contain chemicals, nutrients, and organic matter that negatively affect water quality and aquatic ecosystems. The lack of regulation, monitoring, and effective control increases risks to biodiversity and public health. Proper wastewater treatment can provide a high-quality resource that can be used for various purposes, such as agricultural irrigation, landscaping, and industrial use.

The workshop covered technical aspects of water quality and its monitoring, wastewater discharges, and treatment, along with a focus on governance, economic considerations, and legal frameworks that influence the design and development of public policies adapted to local and national realities. The workshop featured presentations from prominent international organizations to further enrich the discussion. Dr. Silvia L. Saravia Matus, Economic Affairs Officer in charge of Water Affairs at ECLAC, presented the various strategies being undertaken by ECLAC to address regional challenges in the safe management of water resources. Additionally, she presented the current context of the region with an emphasis on the global acceleration framework of SDG 6, highlighting financing and innovation, among other key points, to advance the water action agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The exchange of knowledge and discussions during the workshop led to conclusions and recommendations by different speakers, enriching the current understanding of the topic for all participants.