From the Blog
A Dispatch from Peru for World Water Day

Genevieve Bennett and Kate Holthouser

The people of Peru have been sustainably managing their water for millennia, with infrastructure projects that surpass even the better-known aqueducts of ancient Rome. World Water Day is especially critical in the desert city of Lima.

This story first appeared on Viewpoints, the Forest Trends Blog

22 March 2019 | Today is World Water Day – but in Peru, celebrations have been going on all week.

Peru has transformed its water sector. Less than a decade ago, it was a country where water utilities were not allowed to invest in conserving watersheds upstream of their intakes. Now every utility nationwide sets aside a portion of user fees to protect healthy ecosystems, to ensure water security and climate resilience. Peru’s story is a remarkable one.

In Lima, Forest Trends and partners in the Natural Infrastructure for Water Security project, along with the Ministry of Environment (MINAM), the national Superintendence of Water Services (SUNASS), and the National Water Authority (ANA), are celebrating World Water Day’s theme of #WaterforAll.

We participated in a March for Water, an interactive exposition on natural infrastructure, a virtual reality tour of Lima’s major watershed, the Rimac, and a multimedia special, “The Route of Water” [in Spanish].

We want to share a short video of the festivities. Forest Trends’ Deputy Chief of Party, Gena Gammie, takes us on the journey that water makes on its way to Lima: from the mountains and glaciers hundreds of kilometers from Lima, through the Rimac River basin, through Lima’s treatment facilities, to the tap.

For this desert city, a connected system of healthy ecosystems and modern treatment infrastructure makes clean, reliable water possible.

If we are to solve the 21st century water crisis faced by Peru and countries around the world, we need to harness and support nature’s ability to provide clean water. For instance, this means managing forests and wetlands sustainably, improving farming practices, and maintaining ancestral water management practices that work with nature.

The Natural Infrastructure for Water Security project is a $27.5 million project that will rapidly scale up nature-based approaches across Peru, to ensure water security for all.

Happy World Water Day!

The Natural Infrastructure for Water Security project is funded by USAID and the Government of Canada. It is implemented by Forest Trends with our consortium partners CONDESAN, the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA), EcoDecision, and experts from Imperial College London.

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