Water for All (Agua Para Todos)

Building water distribution systems for poor households
Water, Sanitation & Health (WASH)

Access to clean water is an emotive issue in developing countries that sometimes leads to civil unrest and major social problems. The SEED-winning project ‘Water for All’ was inspired following the well-documented ‘water wars’ in Cochabamba. The municipal water company, a private consortium, the local community and a non-profit, micro-credit foundation are working together to create community-owned secondary water distributions in poor peri-urban areas of Cochabamba.

In the suburban areas of Cochabamba, the municipal water company, SEMAPA, lacked the finance to build secondary water distribution networks, leaving hundreds of homes without a connection to the main water supply. In response, local communities have organized themselves into “Water Committees”, but their attempts to build their own water networks have taken place in an uncoordinated, inefficient way. Agua Tuya/PLASTIFORTE, a private consortium, has been manufacturing pipes and building water distribution systems for the Water Committees for the past eight years, but the work has not been coordinated with the water company. The Agua Para Todos initiative takes the pieces of the puzzle and recombines them in an innovative partnership model.

Water for All in numbers

  • Total Investment [USD] 1,219,134
  • Total Investment by the Community or neighborhood [USD] 521,972
  • Total Investment by the Municipality [USD] 697,162
  • Total Number of Projects Completed 34
  • Total Number of Beneficiary Families 4,376
Eco-inclusive impacts
By combining its partners’ resources, the partnership overcomes the problem of the prohibitive costs of new secondary water connections and reduces end-user water cost. In addition, the partnership creates socio-political stability in an area known previously for its volatility.
  • Helping families save up to 40% water, decreasing the cost of water from 4.30 USD/m3 to 2.50 USD/m3. 
  • Generating a new institutional culture and governance by bringing together of each members´ skills, capacities and knowledge.
  • Building eco-friendly residual water treatment plant and prototype composting toilets.
  • Increasing access to clean water through community-owned secondary water distributions in poor peri-urban areas.
  • Inspiring other initiatives and the implementation of a network of INFOCENTERS in the vicinity of the communities.
  • Providing an ongoing course of technical and administrative training for water committees.


A consortium of local communities, an NGO and a pipe manufacturer is building water distribution systems in coordination with the municipal water company in Cochabamba, each connecting between 100 and 500 poor households. The costs are being met by the communities through a micro credit scheme, repayable within a year.

Agua Tuya/PLASTIFORTE (Private Consortium) 

SEMAPA (Municipal Water Company)

Local Water Committees (Community-based organizations)

Pro Habitat (Non-profit Foundation)