7 Water management challenges in Peru

7 Retos en la gestión del agua en Perú

This article analyses the major challenges related to efficient water management in Peru and potential opportunities for the private sector. Increasing the role of aquifers in integrated management, designing and introducing technologies that enable progress towards the digital river basin, reducing the water footprint of agro-industrial processes and planning of land use are just some of the essential strategic lines if Peru is to continue growing within the concept of a green and circular economy.

The great global trends point towards a decrease in the availability of natural resources as a direct result of demographic growth, improved living conditions, and the reality of global warming. The signs also point to growing difficulty in access to sufficient water and food to meet the demands of humanity and increasing uncertainty regarding the evolution of living conditions on the planet. More stringent governance requirements, transparency of information and citizen participation generally accompany the statements and analyses constantly being made on numerous platforms and by a variety of organisations.

These trends represent great challenges which must be met in different ways: by means of legislation, finance, technology, creation of infrastructures, investment in research and innovation, etc. In countries with major water resource management challenges, such as Peru, it is vital to plan initiatives to tackle the problems, whilst ensuring sustainability.

Efficiency in the use of water, and more specifically in the water-energy nexus, is undoubtedly a key element. So too is preserving the good state of aquatic ecosystems and water masses, and the prevention of climate change and adaptation to the effects thereof.

Efficiency has to be achieved on every scale and in all the processes of the different value chains: from river basin planning and management, to agricultural use, the agro-food industry, and domestic and industrial water supply.

We will now outline the main challenges facing efficient water management in Peru:

  • Increased absolute demand for water in the production of food
  • Increased absolute demand for water, particularly in peri-urban areas
  • Overexploitation of water resource systems
  • Changes in land use due to urbanisation, deforestation, agriculture and infrastructures
  • Global urban water cycle infrastructures
  • Pollution
  • Water-energy nexus

Article published in: FuturENVIRO November 2014