Locally-managed water supply systems are common in Bolivia. Although these are acknowledged to some extent by national policies of decentralisation and local government, locally-managed water supply systems do not fit neatly into national policies and plans for water and sanitation, especially at the peri-urban interface. In urban and peri-urban areas the current policy is to develop large centrally-managed water and sanitation utilities. A new water and sanitation project based upon these policies is currently being planned in the municipalities of Tiquipaya and Colcapirhua, close to the city of Cochabamba. This project will clearly result in major changes for locally-managed water supply systems in the area, if they survive at all over the long-term. This paper considers the performance of existing locally-managed water supply systems, based upon a study of 28 systems, and their potential outlook. Possible future scenarios for such community-managed systems are relevant to other peri-urban areas in Bolivia and elsewhere.
Working paper for NEGOWAT project workshop, Sao Paulo, 16-21 August 2004, 15 pp.