Water Treatment Systems In Columbia

Water Treatment Systems In Columbia

ColumbiaWith a population over 48.2 million, about 74% are living in urban area (32 million), half are concentrated in eight major cities (Bogotá, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Cucuta, Bucaramanga, and Santa Marta) while the remaining is located in 1,000 municipalities and rural areas.

It is estimated the country’s coverage of potable water infrastructure reaches 97% of the population; 91% has sewer coverage and only 31% has wastewater treatment systems in place.

In rural areas, only 73% has access to drinking water only 70% have access to sewer pipeline networks with no wastewater treatment. The Municipal Services Superintendence estimates that of over 62.7% of wastewater goes untreated due to a small amount of basic treatment facilities.

It is estimated 3.9 million people are lacking services and some 6.4 million lacking sewers, with planned investment of about $13 billion USD over the next ten years. Most of the investments will come from the central budget, the government is looking to attract private sector developers with their own financing arrangements.

The Ministry of the Environment is improving environmental regulations and strengthening enforcement and capacity building activities nationwide to support Colombian free trade agreement commitments. The focus is implementing water resource management and monitoring systems, water and wastewater treatment and sewerage systems, underground water supply, toxic and hazardous waste collection and disposal.

Columbian water treatment sector has improved since the government focus on developing several new waste water treatment projects including Salitre II and Canoas (Bogota), the completion of the Medellin’s Bello wastewater treatment plant. Columbian industry is interested in working with the government in the structuring and development of Public-Private Partnerships to overcome the gap of the government investment and cost overruns in the municipal water treatment systems.