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“Contamination in

Rocha River Basin


(Cochabamba, Bolivia):
How is useful the water
footprint indicator?”
Carla Baldivieso
Student
International Master in Rural Development, UGent
Gent, Belgium, 26th October 2018
INDEX
• Water footprint in Bolivia
• Water and history in Bolivia: Water war in Cochabamba, 2000
• River Rocha Basin in Cochabamba
• Location
• Problem
• Water footprint in River Rocha Basin
Water footprint in Bolivia
Water footprint per capita in Bolivia
Causes:

- Relatively low water productivities


of the livestock sector in the country. The
per capita consumption of meat in Bolivia
is 0.8 times the LAC average, but the WF
per ton of meat is four times the LAC
average.

Actual state of the measure:

- Only 2 of 9 departments in Bolivia have


information about the water footprint (La
Paz, Santa Cruz)
Water and history in Bolivia: Water war
in Cochabamba, 2000
• Third largest city in Bolivia.
• Series of protest that took place between December 1999 and April
2000
• In 1999, as a prerequisite to further loans, the World Bank insisted on
privatization of Cochabamba’s water, using for this the concessionary
Aguas del Tunari – USA´s Bechtel (multinational corporation), to
privatize the city’s municipal water supply “Semapa” and even the
collection of rain water.
River Rocha Basin in
Cochabamba
•Location
- 40% South America (8 countries), more than 30% Bolivia
• Population 2012: 1 758 143 2012 (18% of national population)
• Population density: 31,6 hab/km²
• Rocha River goes trough 6 municipalities of the department (Sacaba, Cochabamba, Vinto, Quillacollo,
Colcapirhua y Sipe Sipe)
Problem
General Contralory of the State (2012, 2018) Environmental
Reports:
• Contamination:
• Domestic water
• Industrial water
• Lack of environmental licenses
• Lack of treatment of domestic water

• Only 25% of recommendation of 2012 have been implemented
until 2018

Interamerican Development Bank, 2013:


• 76 million liters of sewage are discharged into the river each year
• 5,000 and 7,000 hectares of agricultural production are irrigated
with river waters
Paul D’abzac, Catolic University of
Bolivia, 2018
According to Bolivian law, the
water should not be used because
of the contamination
It continues being used even for
water the crops
Types of contamination: domestic
contamination, pesticides
(increasing in rain season), metal
contamination of industry
wastewater
35 pesticides have been found in
studies, only 2 of those pesticides
are considered in the Bolivian law.
Water footprint in River Rocha
Basin
The water footprint is a measure of humanity's Measure the
appropriation of fresh water in volumes of source of
contaminants
water consumed and/or polluted /responsibiliti
es per
“sector”
“The water footprint is an indicator of
freshwater use that looks not only at direct
water use of a consumer or producer, but Climate
also at the indirect water use.” (Hoekstra, change/ Evaluate
Biodiversit regulations
2012) How WF
y
can be used
The water of Rocha River to solve the
continues being consumed for problem?
agricultural purposes
How social inequalities can be measured
by water foot print? Evaluate
Evaluate
→ Internal flows of virtual water security
public
→Inequities rural - urban of the
policies
Historical course system
References
• Vásquez, Buenfill. 2012. LATIN AMERICA’S WATER FOOTPRINT: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES. Aqua Lac, Vol. 4.
• Mekonnen, Aldaya, Pahlow, Zarate. 2015. Efficiency and Equitability of Water Consumption and Pollution in Latin America and
the Caribbean. Journal Sustainability.
• Fitzgerald, Auerbach. 2016. The Political Economy of theWater Footprint: A Cross-National Analysis of Ecologically Unequal
Exchange. Journal Sustainability.
• General Contralory of the State. Inform about Rocha River.
https://www.contraloria.gob.bo/portal/Inicio/tabid/55/ctl/verNoticia/mid/1107/articleID/2523/Default.aspx
• Paul D’abzac. Catolic University of Bolivia. Environmental Departament.
http://eju.tv/2018/05/ratas-proliferan-en-el-rio-rocha-y-el-nivel-de-contaminacion-del-agua-es-preocupante/
• Interamerican Development Bank Report.
https://blogs.iadb.org/ciudadessostenibles/2013/08/13/devolver-el-rio-rocha-a-la-ciudad-de-cochabamba-una-necesidad-urge
nte/

More Information
• Water War in Bolivia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn9wujK0ho4