GWP Contributes to Peru’s Groundwater Issues

Overexploitation, contamination, and salinisation of aquifers are among the main problems Peru currently faces in groundwater management. To tackle these issues, GWP Peru, with the financial and technical support of GWP South America, held a workshop on “Groundwater: steps towards adaptive and sustainable management” at the National Water Authority’s auditorium in Lima on 9 August 2013.

Stephen Foster, a GWP Senior Advisor, gave the keynote speech and provided advice to the national water authorities in meetings which took place during the days after the event.

“Governments in general have acted in the short term and usually believe that by improving irrigation efficiency or increasing aquifers’ recharge can solve the problems,” said Foster. “We have to think adaptive management because the system is very dynamic and there are constant changes... measuring and monitoring are essential; there should be far more investment in these areas,” he added.

Foster called for community involvement in groundwater use together with the need to periodically review the rights given on groundwater use due to the changing situation. When asked about the nexus between groundwater and urban water, Foster was clear: “Groundwater should be at the centre of every discussion on urban water.”

The Head of the National Water Authority, Mr Jorge Montenegro, highlighted the importance of GWP’s contribution, at a time when the Authority is planning on developing a groundwater plan at the national level.

Almost 200 people attended the workshop, which was also streamed live over the internet.

Photo: All near full auditorium at the workshop in Lima.