An urban-rural pact in favor of water. Peru raises funds to protect water sources

“We fostered the enactment of a regulation that would allow us to include the Mechanisms of Retribution for Ecosystem Services (MRSE) in the water rates, thus turning watershed protection into public policy”, highlighted Fernando Momiy, president of the National Superintendence of Sanitation Services (SUNASS), at Water World Week 2016.

 

Promoting the revaluation and integrated management of watersheds, along with investing in natural infrastructure, is emerging as one of the most cost-effective solutions to the global water crisis. Payments for watershed services exceed 10 billion dollars annually worldwide and have become a sustainable alternative to the costly traditional infrastructure found in megacities. Lima is now an example of this.

“Water for sustainable growth” was the main theme at World Water Week (Stockholm, August 2016), an annual global event on water and development issues, which gathered around 3,000 participants from over 120 countries and regions to discuss both global and local water-and-development-related challenges.

At this event, the “Focus on Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)” conference, where specialists and representatives from different countries debated, and shared experiences and knowledge on the Integrated Management of Water Resources in the region, took place.  There, the National Superintendence of Sanitation Services, key partner of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Peru within the framework of its Global Program Water Initiatives, shared the Peruvian experience towards a green infrastructure.

Fernando Momiy, president of SUNASS, shared the actions implemented in Peru, where the preservation of water resources has become public policy. He explained that through Peru’s Water Regulator SUNASS, the water utilities in Peru known as Empresas Prestadoras de Servicios de Saneamiento (EPS) can raise funds for watershed protection.

In his speech, Momiy pointed out that “we fostered the enactment of a regulation that would allow us to include the Mechanisms of Retribution for Ecosystem Services (MRSE) in the water rate, thus turning watershed protection into public policy. As of year 2013, each time water utilities submit a water rate study to SUNASS, the study must include a percentage to be spent on watershed protection exclusively. The importance this measure lies on the fact that we have decided to incorporate into the water rate paid by water users a percentage to be used directly to pay for an environmental service offered by watersheds. This way we have proven, in economic terms, that it is more beneficial to protect natural infrastructure than, for instance, to have to invest later in a drinking water treatment plant”.

Video (Spanish)

It is worth noting that the Water Resources Group (WRG 2030) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) have supported SUNASS in the development of the methodology to design and implement the Rate for Monitoring and Management of Groundwater Use. In particular, SDC has contributed in the elaboration of a study called “Methodology and technical-economic criteria and procedure applicable to the Groundwater Monitoring and Management Rate, as part of its Global Program Water Initiatives.

For more information, see:
PDF Directing Council Resolution N° 007– 2016 – SUNASS-CD
PDF Presentation on the Methodology
Noticia New rates for monitoring and management of groundwater use in Peru (Spanish)
Useful links:
Scaling Up Payments and Investments in Watershed Services to Address the Global Water Crisis – Phase 2, project fact sheet, Swiss Embassy, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.