Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

Building the Basis for Integrated Water Resources Management in Peru

September 22, 2016


Water Culture training in schools.

Chancay-Huaral River Basin Council / World Bank.

Water resources management in Peru are better addressed as a result of increased stakeholder participation, integration (i.e. taking into account the interactions between all sources and uses of water and between water quantity and quality) and decentralization at the basin level. In particular, the project benefited over 500,000 stakeholders and decision-makers in six river basins of the country. The development of a water information system helped build the country’s resilience to El Niño, while other activities strengthened the National Water Authority’s financial sustainability and developed an educational program to promote a “water culture” among the public, students and decision-makers.


In 2008, growing water scarcity limited economic and social development and climate change compounded these effects. Water Resource Management (WRM) in Peru suffered from the absence of a WRM legal framework (the 1969 Law focused on irrigation) and the institutional framework was characterized by scattered and overlapping responsibilities among various Ministries. The institutional capacity was low due to a combination of insufficient financing, inadequate staffing, no local representation in the basins, no stakeholders participation mechanisms, limited functions and power, and insufficient tools, particularly related to basin planning, information, water rights and discharge permits and economic incentives. The 2009 Water Resources Law, the draft National Water Resources Management Strategy and the newly created National Water Agency (ANA) improved the prospects for sound WRM, this legal and institutional framework was new and still needed to be implemented. 


The Project combined capacity-strengthening activities at the central level of ANA and the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service of Peru (SENAHMI) with implementation support in three pilot river basins to help ANA realize its mandate. Through improvements to the water information monitoring network in the pilot river basins and strengthened central capacity to process and disseminate the collected data, the Project provided better quality information to support decision-makers in planning and responding to climate events. At the central level, the development of a methodology for improved cost calculation and fee collection helped ANA generate more revenue from its activities. A National Water Quality Action Plan further integrated the different aspects of water monitoring. The Project promoted the development of a “water culture” through a collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the roll-out of a training program for teachers, students and decision-makers in pilot basins.


  • From 2009 to 2015 the Project achieved important results at national level and in three pilot basins (Chancay-Huaral, Chancay-Lambayeque and Quilca-Chili). Through increased coordination with, and capacity building of, other central government stakeholders, the Project strengthened the National Water Resources Management System and helped create three river basin councils, with two additional councils under creation in non-pilot basins. All pilot basins now have approved participatory and integrated WRM plans that are currently 30 percent implemented and partially funded by the concerned regional governments. Other key results include: 
  • Water information monitoring, quality and availability was increased through the installation of 28 new hydro-meteorological stations and ANA and SENAHMI staff trained to operate and maintain the information platform. 
  • Strengthened capacity of 605 professionals, with an additional 105 receiving a certificate (diplomado) on WRM. 
  • Creation of a primary school “water culture” curriculum that has been implemented in four regional governments under the Project. To date, the curriculum has been replicated in two basins outside the Project. 
  • As part of the implementation of the National Water Quality Strategy created as part of the Project, 331 discharge points were monitored, thus helping to integrate water quality aspects into WRM. 
  • Registration of 73,947 water rights, corresponding to 41,391 water users and contributing to the reduction of conflicts in the pilot basins. 
  • A steady increase in revenues collected from water use and pollution discharge fees (77 percent of ANA’s budget in 2015), which was a result of the Project’s revenue collection strategy. These additional revenues have increased ANA’s financial sustainability and strengthened the sustainability of the river basin councils.


Participatory Water Quality Monitoring

Chancay-Huaral River Basin Council / World Bank

Bank Group Contribution

The World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development provided Peru with a US$10 million loan toward the total Project cost of US$21.8 million. Just over half was used for the implementation of participatory integrated WRM in three pilot river basins and sensitization work in the non-pilot basins. The remaining funds served to strengthen ANA at the central level and develop capacities and curricula. 

Project preparation also benefited from several trust funds financed by Water Partnership Program (WPP) and implemented by the World Bank to incorporate international good practices on the following topics: 

- River basin councils composition, functions and creation (experiences from Brazil, France and Mexico) under “Strengthening the institutional framework for Integrated Water Resources Management in Chile and Peru” (US$40,000) 

- Participatory, integrated, water resources planning and promotion of a new “water culture” (experiences from Australia) and water quality and quantity monitoring (experiences from USGS in the USA), under “Supporting Integrated, Participatory, Basin-Scale WRM in Peru” (US$90,000)

- The assessment and strengthening of SENAMHI, a key player in the collection and centralization of hydromet data in Peru was done as part of the TF “Strengthening the tools for Climate Change Adaptation in Peru and Bolivia,” (US$152,000).


The Inter-American Development Bank rolled-out a similar project in parallel to the World Bank in three additional pilot basins using the methodologies and design of the World Bank Project.

Moving Forward 

Another World Bank Project is under preparation for an amount of US$80 million to expand the activities of this Project to other priority river basins in the country. This project is expected to go to the board in FY17. 


Carla Daniela Perez Diaz is 15 years old and lives in the Chancay-Huaral river basin, where she attends the Educational Institute Andres de los Reyes. When asked about her experience with the Cultura del Agua (“water culture”) program at her school, she explained, “In particular, before taking part in all these meetings and field visits, I did not understand or practice water care and conservation. I am committed now to save water in my home and to continue learning about what it means to have a water culture, and to help multiply the effects of this extremely important topic with my friends and teachers.” Cristhyna Alarcon, 13 years old, complemented, “One day I realized something: if you, yourself, make water disappear, what will you live on?” All students who participated in the closing workshops of the Project expressed that they had learned from the teachings of ANA and were now transferring this knowledge to other students, other schools, and even to their own parents.

US$21.8 million
was the total cost of the project.

Projects Map for Latin America