Current Case 3.3

3.3 Community Management of Rural Water and Associativism in Colombia

Mondomo is a rural community in the municipality of Santander de Quilichao Colombia. The community has a drinking water treatment plant that was built through an alliance between the public and private sectors and the community. The plant has supplied potable water 24 hours a day for the past 15 years. The management of the system is the responsibility of Mondomo’s Association of Water Users. Mondomo has played a critical role in the creation of AQUACOL, the Colombian Association of Community-Based Water Services Providers and has had a prominent role as a Community Learning Centre for Water. In 1998, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) awarded the community with the “Partnerships for Overcoming Poverty” prize for these efforts.

This case study assessed the emergence of AQUACOL and its model of community management, the lessons learned by Mondomo through its Community Learning Centre in the promotion of community-led management of water and sanitation services, the opportunities and challenges facing the long-term sustainability of the system, and the feasibility of replicating the experience in other cases.

This case study was coordinated by Dr Mariela García and Dr Miguel Peña, from the CINARA Institute at the University of the Valley (UNIVALLE), Cali, Colombia.

The case study report has now been published as:

Peña, M., M. García, A. F. Toro, J. Vargas, V. A. Ceron, E. Mena, and V. Orjuela (2015), “Community-based water associations in Colombia’s rural areas”, in J. E. Castro (Ed.), WATERLAT-GOBACIT Working Papers, DESAFIO Project Series SPIDES, Vol. 2, No 11. Download it here.


Interviews with members of Mondomo community: