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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
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City & Country

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $2,579,466,182.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $276,499,197.00 - [11%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $254,446,688.00 - [10%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $31,910,293.00 - [1%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $719,316,607.00 - [28%]
  • Water Scarcity: $867,382,366.00 - [34%]
  • Water Management: $429,911,030.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

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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

To generate maximum value for our customers, associates, communities and stockholders, satisfying our consumers’ expectations at all times with the highest quality products and services. Learn More

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

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

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

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

La Universidad de Cuenca fue creada por Decreto Legislativo expedido por el Senado y la Cámara de Diputados del Ecuador, reunidos en Congreso el 15 de octubre de 1867, y sancionado por el Presidente de la República el 18 del … 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

Whirlpool Corporation is fiercely committed to helping our consumers improve their lives at home through the use of our products. We design our products with our consumers in mind—including innovative features that save time, reduce costs and lower their environmental … Learn More

Projects in Ecuador

El Objetivo General del Proyecto es la implementación de Generadores Atmosféricos de Agua en diferentes comunidades españolas y así erradicar la problemática del abastecimiento de agua potable que se presenta cada año por las sequías, construyendo modelos técnicos de fácil … Learn More

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

Conserve Natural Forests (CNF) is a non-profit NGO operating primarily in Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai Provinces of Northern Thailand. Our mission is to restore natural forest landscapes throughout Thailand to optimal structure, functionality, and resiliency in ways that … Learn More

Carry out 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 impacts … 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

We supported UNICEF�s global response to the COVID-19 pandemic to expand efforts to keep children and their families safe from infection. Our donation of $450,000 and $55,000 in essential supplies, including water tanks and pipes manufactured by Orbia, helped address … Learn More

FONAG water fund is part of Arca Cotinental's Water for the Future Project, which is focused on protecting the micro watersheds, being able to replenish them with water, as well as ensuring that the program has socio-environmental benefits. Learn More

As part of the Water for the Future project, Arca Continental engages through the FONAPA Water Fund in protecting the micro watersheds, being able to replenish them with water, as well as ensuring that the program has socio-environmental benefits. Learn More

Within this program and with the participation with FONDAGUA, the Water for the Future Project is focused on protecting the micro watersheds, being able to replenish them with water, as well as ensuring that the program has socio-environmental benefits. Learn More

Within this program and in collaboration with Fondo de Páramos de Tungurahua y Lucha Contra la Pobreza, the Water for the Future Project is focused on protecting the micro watersheds, being able to replenish them with water, as well as … 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

In GB, together with The Rivers Trust we are working to implement a series of critical nature-based solutions, which will replenish water in some of the most water stressed areas. Funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation, the three-year programme will support … 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

Bangladesh is experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in history. Since August 2017, Bangladesh has seen an unprecedented influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in MyanmarÕs Rakhine State. Among the nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees now residing in the … Learn More

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