In Colombia, Abundant Water Brings No Security

Jun 7, 2016 | 09:00 GMT


Colombia has made great strides in advancing peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), improving the prospect of peace with the guerrilla movement and finally settling the country's longtime security threat. But another crisis of sorts is seeping through the country, based this time on the vulnerability of a precious resource: water. With nearly 50,000 cubic meters of water available per person each year, Colombia is technically one of the most water-rich countries in the world. However, pollution, inadequate infrastructure, unequal distribution and annual variability in rainfall leave an otherwise abundant resource susceptible to water stress. A drought, influenced by the El Nino weather pattern, has only exacerbated the situation. Despite peace talks progressing and stabilizing the country, sustained low oil prices will limit Bogota's ability to invest in and expand water infrastructure. And without investment and greater enforcement of existing policies, access to Colombia's water resources...