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Ecuador

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Amazon
Area: 5888268 km2
Countries:
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Cities:
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
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Water Challenges

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Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Average annual rainfall is 2,274mm, an estimated 645km3/yr over the mainland. Ecuador has two great continental basins: the Pacific slope and the Atlantic side or Amazon. In total, the country is divided into 31 river systems, including the Galapagos Islands, with internal renewable water resources of 432km3 per year. Ecuador has virtually no water intake from rivers in its neighbouring countries, Colombia and Peru. By contrast, surface water leaving the country is estimated from 5 to 9km3/yr to Colombia on the Pacific slope, from 70 to 125km3 per year to the Pacific coastal rivers, from 5 to 9km3/yr to Peru on the Pacific slope, from 9 to 16km3 per year to the Colombian Amazon basin, and 200 to 300km3 per year to the Peruvian Amazon basin. Ecuador has signed agreements with Peru for the use of water resources in three shared rivers: the Puyango-Tumbes, Chira and Catamayo-Zarumilla sub-watershed. The potential of groundwater resources used on the Pacific slope has been estimated at 10.4km3 per year. On the Amazon side there are no studies to estimate groundwater resources. Most groundwater is used for domestic and industrial consumption. Ecuador's total reservoir capacity is 7.5km3, with the Duale Peripa Reservoir, which supplies the coast, accounting for 83 per cent of that capacity.

1.1.2.WATER USE In 1997 total water withdrawals were estimated at 16.98km3, of which 12.3 per cent was devoted to domestic use, 5.6 per cent industrial and 82 per cent to agricultural uses. So far, the high availability of water resources has prevented competition between productive sectors. National coverage of potable water service, according to an estimate of the Secretariat for Environmental Sanitation in 1995, reached 71 per cent (81.5 per cent urban and 51 per cent rural). On the coast coverage in rural areas is 20 per cent, there are more than 2 million people who are not serviced. Sanitation coverage is 61.4 per cent in the urban population and 36.7 per cent in rural areas. Guayaquil, the largest city in the country (with 1.87 million inhabitants in 1995) has less than 60 per cent coverage in urban areas and less than 10 per cent in outlying areas. This major deficit in sanitation helps explain the presence of high levels of pollution, with implications for human health and the environment. The Ministry of Public Health indicates that cholera, food poisoning, diarrhoea, hepatitis and typhoid fever have increased between 1990-95. The use of pesticides in banana cultivation, especially in the coastal savannah and extensive coastline of the province of El Oro, have created serious problems in fisheries in the Gulf of Guayaquil and the coast in general, and polluted rivers.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Major environmental problems are deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; and pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon basin and Galapagos Islands. The Ecuadoran Institute of Water Resources estimated that the amount of arid land increased by 31.5 per cent between 1954 and 1979, when 7.5 per cent of the coastal lowland and Sierra were classified as arid. Between 1981 and 1985, 3,400km3 hectares (840,000 acres) of land were deforested annually. By the 1990s, Ecuador had lost over 30 per cent of the original mangrove area, which covered over 1,170km3. As of 1994, it was estimated that, at current deforestation rates, coastal forests will be completely eliminated within 15 years and the Amazon forests will be gone within 40 years. Traditional farming practices have been blamed for most of these problems, but oil development has also played a role in the clearing of forests. A programme for reforestation and maintenance of existing forests was initiated in 1979, but only 40km3 (10,000 acres) were reforested annually during the early 1980s. Ecuador's principal environmental agency is the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy. Land erosion is accelerated by deforestation. Flooding and desertification are related problems which have damaged or eliminated valuable soil, particularly in the western coastal region. Water pollution is a problem due to the influx of domestic, industrial and agricultural contaminants. Ecuador's cities produce about 1.2 million tons of solid waste per year. The nation has 442km3 of renewable water resources with 82 per cent used for agricultural purposes. Some 90 per cent of all urban dwellers and 75 per cent of the rural population have access to pure drinking water.

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Organizations in Ecuador


EPMAPS is the municipal unit in charge of water management in the metropolitan district o Quito, from the capture in the sources to the management of urban wastewater through the process of conduction, purification, distribution, and collection of wastewater. Learn More

FONAG works to mobilize critical watershed actors to exercise their civic responsibility on behalf of nature, especially related to water resources. The multi-stakeholder board, composed of public, private and NGO watershed actors, provides a mechanism for joint investment in watershed ... Learn More

FONAPA water fund works to conserve Paute watershed in southern Ecuador. Created in October 2008, the fund finances conservation of the Paute watershed, which supplies water to more than 500,000 Cuenca residents and 300,000 Azogues residents with drinking water and ... Learn More

Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano - FFLA is a private non-profit organization based in Quito, Ecuador. Its mission is to work towards sustainable development in Latin America through constructive dialogue and conflict resolution, strengthened citizen participation, and improved political and institutional capacities. ... Learn More

EJCW is a nonprofit organization that supports a statewide coalition of grassroots groups and intermediary organizations building a collective, community-based movement for democratic water allocation, management, and policy in California. EJCW empowers the most under-served communities, including those of low-income ... Learn More

The Water Resilience Coalition, founded in 2020, is an industry-driven, CEO-led coalition of the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world's freshwater resources ... Learn More

WaterStep responds to critical needs for safe water by evaluating and implementing solutions and teaching people to use those tools. WaterStep saves lives with safe water by empowering communities to take care of their own long-term water needs. We believe ... Learn More

Projects in Ecuador


Conserving the Amanzonian forest through payment for maintenance of environmental services, this program aims to curb deforestation and improve the quality of life for the local population. Specifically, this program finances incentives which allow for the education of the local ... Learn More

Carry out a comprehensive and adequate management of the liquid waste generated by the population (domestic discharges) and productive activities of the MDQ (industrial discharges) through its interception, conduction and treatment of urban wastewater; in a way that minimizes the ... Learn More

According to the recommendations, the Bellavista plant must be expanded in its production capacity, through two treatment modules with a capacity of 750 liters/sec each. However, given that the current plant has low flexibility during operation (due to maintenance or ... Learn More

This project consists of expanding the Paluguillo plant from 600 l/s to 1,600 l/s in two 500 l/s modules. This plant expansion will allow for current and future demand for drinking water to be met until the year 2050 of ... Learn More

The EPMAPS, in the update of the Integrated Master Plan for Drinking Water and Sanitation, has defined as a priority work in the short term the project: "LINE OF DRIVING PALUGUILLO - BELLAVISTA" , in order to solve the needs ... Learn More

The Quito Water Conservation Fund (Fondo para la Protección del Agua – FONAG) is an endowment fund that receives money from the government, public utilities, electric companies, private companies and non-government organizations. An independent financial institution manages and invests the ... Learn More

The project, a collaboration between TCCC and TNC, implemented forest conservation activities on 159 ha in the Daule River watershed of Ecuador to protect the forest and associated ecosystem services, including water supply. The forests in this watershed are very ... Learn More

The project, a collaboration between TCCC and TNC, implemented conservation and restoration activities on 147 ha and revegetation activities on 151.26 ha of land in the Guambi Watershed in Ecuador in order to facilitate conservation and regeneration of natural vegetation ... Learn More

The project goal is to support the strengthening of long-term conservation mechanisms (Water Funds) in 11 basins of 6 countries in Latin America, implementing actions in the field, investing in more than 5,000 hectares in priority areas of watersheds key ... Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

This Working Paper proposes a method whereby any decision-maker can calculate the cost required to deliver sustainable water management to a geography. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Inform and strengthen your company’s water management strategies and allow your investors to evaluate current water management activities against detailed definitions of leading practice. Learn More

Developers: Ceres

World Resource Institute's four Aqueduct assessment tools -- Water Risk Atlas, Country Rankings, Aqueduct Food, and Aqueduct Floods -- help companies, governments, and civil society understand and respond to water risks. These water risks include water stress, seasonal variability, pollution, ... Learn More

Developers: World Resources Institute

In this Nature feature, Johan Rockstrom and co-authors argue that identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change. Learn More

Nature-based solution (NBS) can improve degraded ecosystems, help sequester carbon, and manage the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events. Businesses are beginning to recognize the value of NBS for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Chem-MAP® is a ZDHC-approved program to improve chemical management in leather, textile, and synthetic materials supply chains. The program reduces chemical risk to customers. Learn More

Plan, Prepare and Respond- Breakdown for different industries on how to operate safely. Cleaning and disinfecting, Worker Safety, Support Resources, Mitigation Strategy Learn More

This report presents analysis of the response data from a sample of 783 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies. The report is aimed at companies and investors seeking to understand how they can play their part in delivering a ... Learn More

The Toolbox connects your business to the latest tools, guidance, case studies, datasets, and more most relevant to you based on your circumstances and interests. It features more than 250+ resources from dozens of organizations and is updated every week. Learn More

Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

Checklist for restoring water quality in buildings left unused for a long duration. Learn More

Developers: EPA Office of Wastewater Management

CDC/EPA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Includes Printable Materials Learn More

This report makes the case for private sector investment in green infrastructure as part of a broader water stewardship approach. Learn More

Developers: BHP

The Cotton made in Africa standards comprise the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and the Cotton made in Africa-Organic (CmiA-Organic) Standard. The standards are intended to improve the living conditions of African smallholders and support sustainable cotton production. The standards ... Learn More

This guide aims to provide professionals with the practical information and resources to either start sourcing sustainable cotton or increase volumes. Learn More

Includes Immediate steps, ongoing health measures that can be taken, and responsible business practice Learn More

Based on the major combat guidelines set by the São Paulo State Government, Sabesp is fully engaged to endure COVID-19 pandemic within its operation area, which means 374 municipalities located throughout São Paulo state and home to about 28 million ... Learn More

Developers: Sabesp

Best practices- Resources- Webinars on WASH/COVID-19 topics. Learn More

Urban stormwater is becoming an increasingly important alternative water supply in California. However, current economic analyses do not adequately evaluate co-benefits provided by different stormwater investments. As a result, urban stormwater capture is undervalued. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX is an independent certification for chemicals, colorants, and accessories used in textile and leather manufacturing. The certification verifies that each individual substance in the chemical product meets statutory requirements and does not harm human health. Learn More

The Fairtrade Cotton standard promotes sustainability and social responsiblity across the cotton supply chain. Learn More

NBS offer a promising contribution on how to enhance the availability and quality of water for productive purposes and human consumption, while preserving ecosystems. In this discussion paper, 21 case studies of water management processes are analysed, using a non-representative ... Learn More

FAO has been emphasizing the need to accelerate a global transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems, advocating an integrated approach. This document focuses on the management of water for agricultural use. Learn More

The GEMI Local Water Tool (LWT) helps organizations evaluate water-related external impacts, business risks and sufficiency of management plans at specific sites. Key Functions: Quantify water-related impacts caused by facility Quantify facility’s exposure to water-related risk Identify helpful management response Learn More

The Global Organic Textile Standard specifies a supply-chain textile processing standard that includes ecological and social criteria. The standard seeks to define worldwide requirements for textiles to be described as organic. These requirements cover the entire supply chain, from harvesting ... Learn More

The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard can be used to provide comparable quantification and robust analytics, helping corporations, governments, and researchers manage water resources and achieve greater water sustainability. Learn More

The Green Supply Chain: Brand Map is a leadership initiative dedicated to showcasing brands’ commitment to supply chain transparency and environmental management. Learn More

This guide outlines why and how investors engage on agricultural supply chain water risk. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Committee designed this document to guide the food industry and advise its sponsoring agencies in the implementation of HACCP systems. Learn More

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The India Water Tool brings together 20 datasets and risk indicators to help users understand their water risks in India. Learn More

This ISO Standard helps to evaluate the sustainability of a product across its life cycle. Learn More

To provide guidance and a global framework for the design, verification and scaling up of Nature-based Solutions. The Standard includes globally consistent Criteria and Indicators, which are supported by the Principles for Nature-based Solutions, to measure the strength of interventions. Learn More

Developers: International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Levi Strauss &amp; Co. has issued this standard to encourage preservation of fresh water through water recycling. Learn More

Developers: Levi Strauss & Co.

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

With special attention to resources for utilities, this page lists relevant guidance around water and COVID-19. Learn More

Developers: American Water Works Association

This page seeks to help water sector professionals keep informed on the attributions of the COVID-19 virus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health, in general. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

This article presents the state of knowledge with regard to human health and well-being from contact with nature. Learn More

The United Nations World Water Development Report for 2018. Learn More

This report seeks to provide an overview of the way in which the social and economic development of continental Asia is dependent on the resources of ten rivers. Learn More

Developers: China Water Risk

One Planet Approaches consist of a family of tools, methodologies, frameworks, programs, and action plans, which recognize the need to measure and reduce human impact in relation to the absolute boundaries of the Earth system. Learn More

Levi Strauss &amp; Co. chose to publish their innovative Water&lt;Less fabric finishing techniques to encourage water-saving practices across the apparel industry. Learn More

Developers: Levi Strauss & Co.

With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their core operations. This guide is meant as a stepping point to begin reopening with safety as a ... Learn More

TextileExchange's report offers personal accounts from fiber and materials experts “inside” the industry, demonstrating various company strategies and fiber priorities being implemented to achieve greater sustainability. Learn More

During an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current outbreak of COVID-19, small business owners must prepare for disruption in their business as well as prepare to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. These steps are recommended ... Learn More

This report uses new data and calculations to show that investments in resource efficiency, secure work environments, and sustainable materials can benefit the environment and improve profitability. Learn More

This report shows how putting nature to work can help deliver infrastructure services with greater impact and lower cost, all the while reducing risks from disaster, boosting water security and enhancing climate resilience. Learn More

CottonConnect's Responsible Environment Enhanced Livelihoods Cotton (REEL COTTON) standard is a business-driven initiative that sources sustainable cotton to improve environmental, quality, and traceability conditions in supply chain factories and farms worldwide. Committed brands and their supply chains undertake a development-oriented ... Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

This report seeks to provide an overview of the three leading water tools available for corporate water risk assessment. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

SAVEh is the platform through which Ambev shares its water management system free of charge with other companies, which has helped to reduce more than 40% of the company’s water consumption in the last 13 years. This water efficiency tool ... Learn More

Developers: Ambev S/A

The Colorado River Basin states face significant water challenges, including the overallocation of water, long-term drought, and climate change. This report, commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, explores the potential for corporate water stewardship to help solve these challenges. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The City of Austin, Texas is facing an increasingly uncertain water future, from decreasing water supplies and more intense droughts to periodic flooding and water quality impairments. Austin is addressing these challenges head on, from investments in water efficiency and ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Compass Business Tools inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It allows you to explore commonly used business tools that may be useful when assessing your organization’s impact on the SDGs. Learn More

This guide aims to help companies set effective site water targets that are informed by catchment context, which can create value and lessen risks for the company and support collective action. Learn More

Developers: CEO Water Mandate

The world’s water resources are under increasing pressure from rising water consumption, pollution, and climate variability. The variety of water challenges companies face, from water governance issues to extreme events like drought, manifest in the river basins where the companies ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

This report provides findings on good practices of AWS Standard implementation. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Soil &amp; Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a small watershed to river basin-scale model used to simulate the quality and quantity of surface and ground water and predict the environmental impact of land use, land management practices and climate ... Learn More

In response to the challenge of quantifying the business benefits, WaterAid, Diageo, GAP Inc., and Unilever have worked with PwC and ODI to develop a practical, step-by-step guide. The guide will help companies understand the business value of their WASH ... Learn More

Developers: WaterAid

The Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation is the world’s first voluntary sustainability standard for rice. The standard is complemented by a set of 12 quantitative performance indicators. By identifying “hotspots,” the indicators enable users to monitor ... Learn More

The Forest Stewardship Council created the Principles of Forest Stewardship as a worldwide standard to promote environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Learn More

The AWS Standard is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. Learn More

Developers: Alliance for Water Stewardship

This paper provides examples of how to make progress in service delivery in and beyond the workplace. With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their ... Learn More

This discussion paper examines the need for companies to openly acknowledge and discuss the business dependency on consumption, exploring the topic through three different product examples – cars, beef, and clothing. Learn More

This special Academy session covered steps businesses can take to respect and support the rights and lives of women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

‘The Five Goods’ stem from Fashion for Good’s robust definition of ‘good’ and intend to guide the sector with a genuine and accountable framework with the promise of social, economic, and environmental prosperity. Learn More

Measure the environmental and social impact of your apparel products and operations. Learn More

This case study looks closely at a pair of Levi Strauss &amp; Co. stone wash jeans with the goal of helping companies in the apparel sector take more effective and holistic approaches to the industry’s environmental impact. Learn More

Developers: Levi Strauss & Co.

This tool is an interactive map linking nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation outcomes based on a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

This report is a culmination of industry interviews, non-government organization inputs, and desk research, the report highlights practical examples for companies in the sector and beyond, grappling with how to integrate the SDGs into their core business and global supply ... Learn More

This report explores the possibilities of scaling a circular economy, given the reality of the global economy and the complexity of multi-tier supply chains. Learn More

Developers: World Economic Forum

ToxServices' Full Materials Disclosure Screened Chemistry Program (ToxFMD®) promotes chemical optimization through chemical hazard assessment, hazard reduction, and informed substitution. ZDHC members use the program to document conformance with the ZDHC MRSL. Learn More

Water is the lifeblood of California, providing for the household needs of 40 million people and supporting one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, various commercial and industrial activities, and the health and viability of the state’s ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Evaluate the current status of access to safe WASH at the workplace in a given facility of your company. Assess the current status of access to safe WASH at the workplace in a given facility Support decision-making regarding investments and ... Learn More

ILO Sectoral Policies and Governance and Tripartism Departments present four self-training modules, which adapt existing ILO training tools on OSH to provide governments, workers and employers with the necessary skills to implement the general principles contained in relevant ILO instruments. ... Learn More

This UN World Water Development report evaluates the vast quantities of domestic, agricultural and industrial wastewater discharged into the environment everyday as a valuable resource rather than costly problem. Learn More

Companies are increasingly setting and pursing ‘water balance targets’ as part of their water stewardship strategies. The seeming simplicity of balance goals can be attractive – “we will restore a volume of water equal to the amount our business consumes.” ... Learn More

Developers: WWF

This report calls for an integrated approach that brings together governments, water users, and the society at large including the private sector, NGOs, and academia to design smart, adaptable and sustainable solutions for water infrastructure impacted by climate change. Learn More

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water-related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are an essential part of preventing and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

These guidelines intend to help close the knowledge gap on wastewater treatment technologies and motivate relevant facilities in the apparel and footwear industry to implement the professional treatment systems necessary to meet the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines. Learn More

World Resources Institute Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; CDP; The Nature Conservancy; World Resources Institute; WWF Learn More

The Sustainable Business Group; The Sustainable Fashion Academy; The Global Leadership Award in Sustainable Apparel Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

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