Ecuador working to generate confidence in PPP model

Ecuador has significant drinking water and sanitation infrastructure shortfalls, which means that there are opportunities for the sector. The competent authorities acknowledge this fact and are aware that the key is to create favourable conditions for Public-Private partnership (PPP). The country seeks financing of up to USD 900 million for WWTPs.

The Latin American Association of Desalination and Water Reuse (ALADYR) has established contact with different sectors operating in Ecuador in order to obtain an overview of the infrastructure scenario and investment opportunities in the area of drinking water and sanitation.

The most horrific images of the current pandemic in Latin America have come from Ecuador. The waves of terror caused by the Black Death in the 14th century seem to have been reborn, particularly in Guayaquil.

This lamentable situation opens a debate and brings into question the priorities of governmental authorities, not only in Ecuador, but worldwide. Societies must also be questioned regarding the “efforts they have made to safeguard health and reinforce the barriers against the microbiological threats that endanger modern civilisation”.

There are those who believe that once the current threat has passed, there will be a tendency to invest in public health systems to prepare them for future health crises. However, such reactive measures are insufficient if preventive efforts are not made in the area of wastewater treatment, because of the risk of disease associated with viruses, bacteria and parasites in wastewater.

According to the National Water Secretariat (Senagua), which regulates drinking water and sanitation services in Ecuador, the country treats 55.8% of its wastewater through the sewerage network, which channels around 70% of effluents generated by humans.

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) sanitation indicator comprises three elements: adequate facilities for the disposal of excreta; non-shared or exclusive use of sanitation facilities by households, and adequate wastewater treatment. According to the latest National Water and Sanitation Strategy (ENAS-2017) report, the third element is a challenge requiring independent measurement because this information is not covered by household surveys or censuses and must be addressed using other sources of information, such as administrative registers or by requesting information from service providers.

Latin American Association of Desalination and Water Reuse (ALADYR)

Published in: FuturENVIRO Nº 69 AprilMay 2020