World Bank gives $40 million for water metering, service improvements in Nicaragua

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Managua, Nicaragua — (METERING.COM) — December 19, 2008 – The World Bank has granted US$40 million for metering and other infrastructure to increase access to reliable water and sanitation services in the Greater Managua region of Nicaragua.

The project, the Greater Managua Water and Sanitation Project (Proyecto de Agua y Saneamiento en Managua, PRASMA), is aimed at providing access to reliable water supply to an additional 150,000 people and access to improved sanitation services to an additional 120,000 people. The vast majority of these people live in very poor neighborhoods in the Greater Managua region, which comprises the metropolitan area of Managua and adjacent municipalities, including the satellite cities of Tipitapa and Ciudad Sandino.

The three components of the project are coverage extension and improvement of water supply and sanitation, improvement in efficiency, and institutional strengthening activities, including monitoring and evaluation.

All new water connections will include metering and residents in the targeted neighborhoods should have access to a continuous or nearly continuous supply of drinking water.

Dramatic improvements in the technical efficiency of the network are also possible. According to a study by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) physical and commercial losses in the water system are around 55 percent currently and reducing these losses to 25 percent will liberate water for the additional connections needed to increase effective coverage.

“This operation will increase the availability of water by investing in wells to be located in the south-east sectors of Managua, and also will be used to rehabilitate water networks and domestic connections that were constructed by the community, at times without adequate technical assistance – a situation that over the years has resulted in considerable water loss through leakages,” said Ruth Selma Herrera, executive president of the Nicaraguan Water and Sewage Company (Empresa Nicaragüense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados Sanitarios, ENACAL).
 
“At the same time, the project will provide access to water to neighborhoods which have not had access to this important public service.”