In Colombia the Dutch Water Authorities (DWA) is working with 5 clusters to achieve better water management and cleaner water in Colombia. The focus is on 5 themes: applying the monitoring and knowledge cycle to enhance decision-making, workable and enforceable permit systems, optimising wastewater treatment, being better prepared for crisis situations and aligning policy and plans.

The 5 clusters with which the DWA works within the Colombia programme – which is called InspirAgua – are Macrocuenca Magdalena-Cauca, Santander, Valle del Cauca, Caldas and Huila. Each region has its own challenges, and we zoom in on one of our main targets per cluster. Within the programme we exchange knowledge between Colombia and the Netherlands, and inspire each other, always on an equal footing. We connect regional partners in Colombia, but also work to scale up: from regional to national and from national to international level.

Tailor-made for Colombia

A tailor-made approach has been devised per location. In the case of the Huila cluster, the need for information on setting up an effective water management system is being explored, while the focus for the Santander cluster is on setting up participatory monitoring and a data system for water management. In the Valle del Cauca cluster, such a data system is already in use.

Group of people standing near water management related construction site.
Field visit with partners in Colombia

Collaboration during the pandemic

Digital events have been organised to maintain contact and achieve results during the coronavirus pandemic, including webinars, video meetings and an online annual conference. Live working visits resumed to a limited degree in 2021. These will be extended in the future as and when coronavirus measures permit it.

Alvaro Hernán Roldán Álvarez, Director of Planification, Corporación Valle del Cauca (CVC): “The collaboration is not a consultancy, but an exercise based on a free methodology. At no time do the Dutch impose models – instead it is a dynamic process that enables us to know ourselves better and to find solutions to various issues through reflection.”