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Wastewater management in developing countries: Bolivia case studies

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:11 authored by Claudia Cossio, J. McConville, Sebastien Rauch, Alvaro Mercado
Wastewater management in developing countries still is a challenge, especially in small towns. The aim of this study is to understand technical and social factors related to management. Thus, the context surrounding the performance of six treatment plants in rural areas of Cochabamba, Bolivia were investigated: three small treatment plants (2000-10000 p.e.; flow>5L/s) and three very small treatment plants (<2000 p.e.; flow<5L/s). Performance of the plants was measured based on the removal of TSS, BOD5 and Fecal Coliforms. Management data was collected through semi-structured interviews with water association managers and users. Results found that inappropriate design and type of technology, lack of operational expertise and lack of financial resources were the main factors related to low performance. Moreover, lack of financial resources is linked to the awareness of users on the importance of having the service and willingness to pay for their adequate functioning.


The authors would like to acknowledge financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the technical support from the Centro de Aguas y Saneamiento Ambiental (CASA) in Bolivia.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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COSSIO, C. ... et al, 2017. Wastewater management in developing countries: Bolivia case studies. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). Local action with international cooperation to improve and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services: Proceedings of the 40th WEDC International Conference, Loughborough, UK, 24-28 July 2017, Paper 2776, 4pp.


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