Buenos Aires, Argentina
Since securing the contract for the Buenos Aires concession in 1993, Aguas Argentinas (Ondeo Services, formerly Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux) has implemented several innovative solutions in the underprivileged districts of the megalopolis.
At the time of this project (2001), the city's population exceeded 11.5 million. Three million of these lived in the underprivileged districts and had a monthly income per household of less than US$500 per month. More than 300,000 lived in the villas miserias - spontaneous and illegal settlement areas. At the beginning of the concession, an estimated 500,000 people were connected fraudulently to the network, with low-quality services. The underprivileged districts accounted for a potential 15% of Aguas Argentinas' customers.
In 1993, 30% of the population in Buenos Aires was not served with drinking water and 42% had no sanitation facilities. Between 1993 and 2001, Aguas Argentinas expanded the delivery of water services to more than 1.5 million people and sanitation to 800,000.
In order to implement original financial and institutional solutions to issues of water and sanitation access, NGOs were requested to facilitate dialogue between Aguas Argentinas, public institutions and the communities. Between 1997 and 1999, more than 200,000 low-income inhabitants became connected to the drinking water network.
BPD became involved in a similar project in the city, to find and implement sustainable solutions to supply drinking water and sanitation services to low-income areas through the following: