The Project “Risk and Vulnerability in the Cauca Drinking Water systems” is funded with royalty resources and is carried by the alliance between the Cauca Government and the Universidad del Valle (CINARA), linked to the UNESCO Sustainability Chair at the Technical University of Catalonia, the Corporación Autónoma Regional del Cauca – CRC, the CreaTIC Cluster, EMCASERVICIOS and the Regional Center of Productivity and Innovation of the Cauca – CREPIC and the nine Town Halls of the benefited municipalities.
National assessments on water resource systems in Colombia, show a high-level of vulnerability on the maintenance of current water availability.
According to general estimates for medium hydrological conditions, about 50% of the municipal urban population is exposed to water supply issues. The situation becomes more critical in dry years when the percentage arrives to an 80%.
According to IDEAM-Colombia, without proper conservation and management measures for 2015 and 2025 respectively, 66% and 69% of Colombians will be at high risk of shortages in dry hydrological conditions. This situation, added to the expected population growth and consequent rise on water demand of the different economic activities, foresees a serious alteration on water availability if a pertinent and sustainable environmental risk management is not carried out.
The main objective of AQUARISC is to strengthen decision-making tools and mechanisms from the local authorities and institutions that are related to water supply for human consumption, considering the effects of meteorological variability and climate change. The project also targets the sustainable development of the Cauca, the well-being of its communities and the materialization of 2016-2019 development plans, which will directly benefit near 349 thousand people that live in the main municipalities of the Cauca Department.
With this initiative, the environmental sustainability of strategic ecosystems and water resources is meant to improve at national, regional and local levels. At the same time, the generated knowledge and innovation will enhance proper water management in water supply processes.
The expected results include:
The design and implementation of a monitoring system considering different technologies (station network, microsensors instrumentation, information systems, close to real-time transmission) and procedures (operation water treatment protocols, water quality, etc.).
Vulnerability analysis and risk management for water supply systems considering water availability and demand for human consumption .
Integrated water management plans considering adaptation and risk management strategies in the water basins associated to the supply systems .
On-line access to the informative platform on water management .
Pilot development and implementation of eco-technology prototypes to optimize water treatment systems and resource protection .
Social appropriation and technology transfer strategies through participatory environmental processes to strengthen bonds between different actors .
Build human capital for developing technological services and products for integrated water management .