National water-related plans in Argentina

 National water-related plans in Argentina

The National Water Plan (NWP), launched in 2016, set ambitious objectives to manage water risks and place water at the core of economic and social development. By 2023, the national government aims to increase coverage to 100% for drinking water supply and 75% for sewage connections. The NWP also aims to increase protection against floods and droughts through strategic actions that combine both hard infrastructure – such as building flood protection infrastructure in cities or increasing the number of dams – along with better early warning and information systems, including a network of meteorological double polarization radars (SINARAME). Finally, the NWP seeks to support the irrigation needs of the agricultural sector by expanding the cultivated area by 300 000 ha by 2022 (an increase of 17%). To achieve these objectives the plan set ambitious targets to deliver infrastructure projects through both public and private investment (see Box 2.). It also proposed implementing actions on four cross-sectoral axis:

  • Preservation of water resources, including mitigation and recovery of disrupted ecosystems, by ensuring infrastructure projects respect the natural environment

  • Capacity building: the Plan aims to develop knowledge and tools that help implement policies more effectively and efficiently

  • Advancing technological developments related to the preservation of the quality and quantity of water

  • Using the plan as an engagement mechanism through which perspectives and opinions of water stakeholders help choose the best solutions and investments to achieve the objectives of the plan.

The main goal of the National Irrigation Plan (NIP), developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, is to promote sustainable development of irrigated agriculture throughout the country. The NIP aims to duplicate the current irrigated area to reach 4 million hectares by 2030 and to increase water efficiency for irrigation. For this purpose, the plan has seven specific action lines:

  1. 1.public and private institutions: strengthen the capacities of national and provincial public actors, as well as of irrigator organisations and private agents

  2. 2.education and training: train public and private agents in the design, implementation and management of policies required for the use, expansion, renovation and maintenance of the different irrigation systems

  3. 3.research and information: co-ordinate research conducted by different institutions on water resources use in irrigation, adapting agriculture to climate change, and technologies to improve irrigation

  4. 4.public investment: co-ordinate public investment on irrigation systems across national and provincial levels of government

  5. 5.financing: stimulate public and private financing to fund investments in the expansion and renewal of irrigation systems

  6. 6.environment: strengthen activities to increase environmental preservation, in particular by raising awareness for the need to preserve land and water to adapt to climate change

  7. 7.legislation: co-ordinate activities across national and provincial governments to establish a clear and homogenous legislative scheme of water use and ownership.

The Belgrano Plan, launched in 2015, seeks to compensate the historic lack of investments in the north of Argentina, promote productive development, combat drug trafficking and improve security. The plan focuses heavily on investment in large infrastructure projects (e.g. roads, railways, airports) as well as on promoting infrastructure for the production of renewable energies and gas. It also focuses on improving poor and remote neighbourhoods, including providing better water and sanitation services and street lighting, building decent housing (the plan proposes housing for over 250 000 families), providing childcare infrastructure and improving telecommunications. Total investment amounts to USD 16 billion over ten years. The water section of the Belgrano Plan focuses on water and sanitation services and is under the portfolio of the SIPH, which finances infrastructure through loans from multilateral banks (Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the Development Bank of Latin America). In the last 3 years, 11 projects have been executed for a total of Argentinian pesos 6.5 billion.

Sources: SIPH (2016), “Plan Nacional de Agua”, Ministry of the Interior, Public Works and Housing, Buenos Aires, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/2017-09-29_pna_version_final_baja_0.pdf. ; Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (n.d.), “Plan Nacional de Riego”, https://www.agroindustria.gob.ar/sitio/areas/riego/plan_riego (consulted in June 2019); Chief of Cabinet (2019), “Unidad Plan Belgrano”, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/planbelgrano (consulted in June 2019).

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