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publicationJune 21, 2023

Peru Strategic Actions Toward Water Security

A cover image of the Peru Diagnostic

About the publication

The Peru Water Security Diagnostic provides concrete, strategic actions to strengthen Peru’s water security that complement the government’s ongoing initiatives. The recommendations in the publication are based on the World Bank’s knowledge of and experience in the Peruvian water sector, several government studies, as well as specific assessments carried out as part of the Water Security Diagnostic (WSD) to close knowledge gaps.

The brief also provides an overview of Peru’s water systems and outlines the impact of water on economic and social development, with a detailed analysis of the key challenges to achieving water security. It also offers a list of recommendations to accelerate Peru’s path to water security.

Download the main report.

Download the executive summary

Key messages:

·       Water is a key driver of economic and social development, and sustainable ecosystems in Peru.

Water-intensive sectors account for nearly twofifths of Peru’s gross domestic product (GDP), with about 13 percent from manufacturing, 12 percent from mining and hydrocarbons, 7 percent from construction, 6 percent from agriculture, and 2 percent from water and electricity. The mining and agriculture sectors account for 63 percent and 16 percent of Peru’s total exports, respectively. The agriculture sector alone employs almost a quarter of the total labor force, and more than half in rural areas.

·       Access to water for efficient irrigation contributes to poverty alleviation, food security, agricultural income, and resilience to climate change.

Irrigation has positive impacts on productivity and profitability. The World Bank–financed Sierra Irrigation Project reported yield increases of 30 to 70 percent, and net household income per hectare increases of 25 to 100 percent because of improvements in water availability and irrigation techniques.

·       Access to safe water supply and sanitation (WSS) services is essential for a healthy and productive population.

Millions of Peruvians face water insecurity daily. Only 50 percent of the population have access to safely managed water and 43 percent to safely managed sanitation. Two million Peruvians lack basic drinking water services, and a million rural Peruvians still have no alternative but to defecate in the open.

·       Women and children are disproportionately affected by inadequate access to water and sanitation.

In rural areas, women, responsible for overseeing, fetching, storing, and purifying water, work on average 10 hours more than men per week.

·       The quality of education is also negatively affected by Peru’s coverage gap.

Only two-thirds of public schools have adequate toilet facilities, and only 20 percent have access to adequate drinking water.

·       Climate change and climate variability are linked to extreme water-related weather events that affect vast swathes of population, with grave implications for the economy and human capital accumulation.

Almost half of Peru (46 percent) is highly to very highly vulnerable to natural disasters associated with the El Niño phenomenon and long term climate change.

·       Water shocks and limited WSS services cost Peru between 1.3 and 3.5 percent of GDP per year.

The cost of water shocks is linked to floods, droughts and restrictions in water supply affecting agriculture, mining, manufacturing, health, and household income.