GNF - Drinking Water for rural Regions in Colombia

Drinking water in rural regions in Colombia

Safe drinking water for disadvantaged groups in rural regions in Colombia


Project goals

The rehabilitation and extension of the existing drinking water supply in Bocas del Carare and the construction of a new infrastructure in Isla Renacer, a district of Puerto Parra, are the central measures of this project. This will significantly improve the drinking water situation of around 800 people in the two municipalities of Bocas del Carare (530 inhabitants) and Isla Renacer (250 inhabitants). This has long-term and lasting positive effects on the hygiene and health situation and leads directly to a reduction in the disease rate and infant mortality. At the two project sites, a simple but reliable filtration technology for drinking water purification and a corresponding storage and pipe system for the basic supply of people will be installed. This is based on a daily water requirement of 100 liters per inhabitant.

Initial situation

Groundwater and surface water currently serve as the source for the daily water demand at both project sites, although it is heavily contaminated due to untreated wastewater from the settlements and small cattle farms as well as polluted tributaries. In fact, the water should be treated by boiling and / or chemicals before consumption.


In the municipality of Bocas del Carare all households are connected to the local drinking water network, but at the moment there is no water treatment plant. 60% of the households in the municipality of Isla Renacer are connected to the existing mains, and there is no treatment stage for the water fed into the system.


In rural areas of Colombia, about 61 % of households are connected to a water supply, with only half of the water available here being of drinking water quality. For the population, water color, turbidity and odor are the only indicators of quality, so that contaminated water is often used, as pathogens, bacteria and other contaminants are not perceived beforehand.

Project activities

During site inspections, the appropriate location for the water treatment plants and storage tanks is sought on the respective municipal premises and water samples are taken for subsequent analysis. Together with the municipal representatives, the existing infrastructure on site is recorded and assessed. In a second step, a plant concept will be developed based on the local conditions and the water analyses. Another important aspect of all measures is the involvement of community representatives and local residents in order to sensitize them to hygiene and health issues and to support the establishment and development of community-based organizations for water use.

Joint project work with Fundación Humedales

Fundación Humedales, Living Lakes partner of GNF for many years, brings experience from a drinking water pilot project carried out jointly with GNF. In 2016, a water treatment plant was put into operation in the municipality of San Miguel de Sema.


Since January 2018, the municipality of Bocas del Carare has had a plant-based sewage treatment plant (green filter), which was set up as part of a joint project by Fundación Humedales and GNF. This treatment plant purifies the waste water, which can be used as grey water for the irrigation of agricultural land.


Ms Laura Maeso Velasco
Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Bonn
Phone: +49 228 184 86 94 16


Mr Udo Gattenlöhner

Global Nature Fund - Office Radolfzell

Phone: +49 7732 9995 80


Main Funder:

 German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development


 Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG

Project Partner:

 Fundación Humedales

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

The project should make a concrete contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

 Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
 Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
 Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
 Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Project Period:


Project Country:


Project Partner:


Main Funder:




November 2018 - Februar 2020




Fundación Humedales


German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


Wilo-Foundation, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG