Argentina to improve metropolitan area’s water and sanitation services with IDB support

Argentina will receive a $960 million conditional credit line from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) whose first tranche, of $350 million, will help boost access to sanitation, increase drinking water availability, foster the strengthening and sustainability of services operator company AySA, and improve wastewater treatment and disposal in the first, second and third rings around the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, which are home to 11 million people.

This initial operation of the credit line involves enhancing the sewerage systems in the Moreno and San Miguel districts, including the construction of Las Catonas and Marilo collectors, benefitting 19,000 households. It will also enhance the capacity of Las Catonas plant, which will treat wastewater generated by more than 210,000 users. Additionally, an emissary will be built in the district of Berazategui, ensuring the adequate disposal of wastewater generated by 5.1 million residents that is currently discharged in the Rio de la Plata.

Aqualogy central, Inodoro

The operation also includes purchasing equipment to reduce physical water loss and decrease the unmet drinking water demand from nearly 130,000 metropolitan area dwellers. In addition, the loan will fund institutional strengthening actions such as improving AySA’s regulatory framework, boosting the abilities and competence of its personnel, and fostering an operational reorganization to tackle the challenge of enhancing its service delivery area.

The projects will be executed by Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos (AySA), the concession-holding agency providing water and sanitation services in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and its suburbs in the Buenos Aires Province, a separate jurisdiction. In 2016, the Province added eight more districts from the second and third suburban rings to the areas served by AySA to increase both the range and the quality of the water and sanitation service. The conditional credit line will help AySA meet these goals.

“This credit line from the IDB supports Argentine government’s efforts to solve the problem posed by more than 3.5 million people who have no access to drinking water and nearly 6.5 million who lack access to sewers in an area that is lagging behind most of the country on the issue of water and sanitation,” said Henry Moreno, IDB Project Team Leader. “It also contributes to the institutional strengthening of AySA, helping it improve both its efficiency and sustainability.”

The IDB credit line has a 12-year execution period, while each individual loan will have an interest rate based on LIBOR, a 25-year repayment term, and a 4.5-year grace period. The funds for the first individual loan will be disbursed over a 4-year period.