Uruguay is one of the few countries in Latin America and the Caribbean where 100% of households have access to drinking water. After reaching this goal in 2008, now the country faces other challenges.
For public water company OSE, which supplies 98% of the population, these challenges are summarized in three: increase one percent in network coverage, decrease the amount of wasted water, which rises to 47% of OSE water supply; and expand sanitation coverage from 45% to 60% in 2015.
The pipeline network in the country is over 15,000 km but according to OSE Chairman, Milton Machado, there are still homes and schools in rural areas to be connected. However, the focus is on the amount of water lost: 27% of water is wasted due to old pipes (some are 60 years old). Machado says these pipes are being changed at a rate of 150 km a year, especially those that are under driveways and sidewalks.