Peru’s Water Challenges
With a population of 33 million people, Peru has 159 river basins, harbors about 4.7 percent of the world’s annual renewable water resources and has an overall annual per capita availability of 68,321 cubic meters in comparison to the regional average in Latin America which is 19,248 cubic meters per person annually.
The Andean Mountains divide the country into a water-rich draining –the Atlantic Basin– and two water scarce watersheds: The Pacific Basin and the Lake Titicaca Basin. However, despite the total water endowment being high, uneven distribution of water resources, concentrated demands, and spatial variability of surface water resources, combined with temporal variability, causes water security challenges in Peru.
The country is among the top 30 countries that suffer from chronic water-stress and scarcity. Water quantity, and particularly increasing water scarcity, is a major issue, especially in the Pacific Basin, where most of the economic activities and exports take place, and more than half of the country’s population reside, but have access to only 1.8 percent of the country’s water resources endowment. About 7.4 million of inhabitants are part of the rural population, and of them, 2.7 million have no access to improved drinking water, and 6 million do not have an improved sanitation solution.
The spatial variability of surface water resources compounded by temporal variability results in frequent floods and droughts. The Peruvian piedmont and coastline are prone to floods and mudslides following short-duration and extreme rainfall events often triggered by the El Niño phenomenon.
In addition, there is untreated mining effluents, insufficient wastewater treatment in urban and industrial areas, unrestrained dumping of municipal and industrial solid waste, and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals that further limits the availability of fresh water supply throughout the country. Alternative sources such as groundwater has increased in the country and now faces over-exploitation risks.
Approach and Results
2030 WRG in Peru is a Multi-stakeholder Platform with high level representation that enables: 1) high level discussion of water policies; 2) multi-stakeholder dialogue with high consideration not only on water issues; 3) active participation of the public and private sector, civil society, academia and international cooperation willing to take a more active role on water resources management and security; and 4) generation of new partnerships in order to develop programs and projects. The Platform is relevant to promote the dialogue and collaboration between public and private sectors.
2030 WRG is playing a key role in creating the right incentives for sustainable water use in Peru, while promoting wide alliances to recognize opportunities for development. Some of the MSP’s projects include Works for Taxes, an innovative mechanism created in Peru to accelerate infrastructure investment through public-private collaboration; the implementation of a groundwater tariff for industrial users; and the promotion of the Blue Certificate, an initiative led by Peru’s National Water Authority which is a national recognition aimed to encourage companies to assess the water footprint of their processes, become water-responsible and execute shared-value projects.
As part of the Adaptation to Climate Change and Green Infrastructure working group, 2030 WRG is collaborating with key partners to promote and implement nature-based solutions among public-private partnerships.
During 2020, 2030 WRG supported the Government of Peru to promote meaningful dialogue with the OECD mission as part of the "Policy Dialogues on Water Governance”. Our support included organizing and carrying out technical workshops for national authorities, public officers, and private companies to contribute to the dialogues with the OECD in light of the Water Governance Report. These workshops promoted knowledge sharing to strengthen capacity on water security concepts, including water resilience and climate change adaptation, economics, law and institutions, and gender and social inclusion.
The 2030 WRG Peru’s Steering Committee was formed in 2014 and is currently composed of 30 members, including ministers, vice ministers, national authorities, civil society, members of academia, business associations, private sector representatives, and international cooperation agencies.
Under the leadership of its Steering Committee, 2030 WRG works through five working groups with more than 50 partners in the country.