Water and territorial governance in the Atriz Valley (Colombia): EUROCLIMA+'s new Urban Water project

The "Water and Territory Governance in the Atriz Valley Water Region" project began its implementation with the signing of an agreement, at an event attended by the ambassadors of the European Union and France, delegates from the Ministry of the Environment, the French Development Agency, the governor of Nariño and EMPOPASTO.

December 15, 2020. Pasto, Colombia. The project Water and Territory Governance project in the Atriz Valley Water Region started its implementation on December 15, 2020, becoming the only project in Colombia that is part of the Urban Water sector of EUROCLIMA+, the European Union's flagship programme for environmental sustainability and climate change in Latin America. Pasto and Tangua, located in the Water Region of the Atriz Valley (Spanish acronym RHVA), in the department of Nariño, were the cities selected to implement this initiative, which will benefit 537,525 inhabitants of the two towns.

The project launch event was attended by the European Union (EU) Ambassador in Colombia, Patricia Llombart; the Deputy Head of EU Cooperation in Colombia, Matilde Ceravolo; the French Ambassador, Michèle Ramis; the Director of Climate Change and Risk Management of the Ministry of the Environment, José Charry, and the Deputy Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Colombia, Romain André.

For the European Union Ambassador, the launch of this project is a milestone in the fight against climate change, both for Colombia and for the EU: "Throughout these years of bilateral cooperation, Colombia has shown us that in addition to being an ally, it is a model in many areas, and in this case they have also set an example: By becoming one of the seven countries in the region selected under the framework of the EUROCLIMA+ sector on Water from an Urban Resilience Perspective, they show us the fundamental importance they give to the protection of water resources as well as the fight against climate change," said Ambassador Llombart during the event.

The project aims to establish a territorial system of water governance in intermediate (Pasto) and small (Tangua) highland cities in the RHVA, which share water sources and need to develop collaborative tools for their water security as an adaptation strategy to climate change, thus achieving sustainable territories, in a context of high climate variability, relying on a post-pandemic green recovery; providing water for all and for life.

This is an initiative implemented by the French Development Agency (AFD) and executed by the Sanitation Works Company of Pasto, EMPOPASTO S.A. E.S.P., in an inter-institutional alliance with the Governor's Office of Nariño, the Mayor's Office of Pasto, the Mayor's Office of Tangua, CORPONARIÑO, the Natural Heritage Fund for Biodiversity, Mariana University, and the Grupo Social Foundation.

In addition, the project aims to seek mechanisms of urban-rural solidarity to generate co-benefits with the preservation and strengthening of water ecosystem services, a major challenge in which France, the European Union, and Colombia are working strongly together to consolidate a more sustainable future.

The total amount of the grant is 1.4 million Euros (€) and there are also contributions from its strategic allies, investments that will be carried out over a period of 36 months, starting from the signing of the financing agreement: "With the formal start of this important project we can share our successful experiences, working as a team for community water management, as well as contributing through innovation and awareness raising processes, the importance of joining forces to confront climate change, thus demonstrating that in the hands of everyone there is the possibility of continuing to persevere with water for life," explained the manager (e) of EMPOPASTO, Julio César Delgado.

In addition to benefiting its inhabitants, this high social impact initiative will benefit the Rural Aqueducts Administrative Boards of the Eastern Corridor of Pasto, the Rural Aqueducts Administrative Boards of the Piedras Sector -- Opongoy of the Municipality of Tangua, and EMPOTANGUA.

The Atriz Valley Water Region is an area where different ecosystems, moors and protected areas converge. Recently, the Government of Colombia recognised the RHVA as a strategic ecosystem, which means that it will be one of the priority areas for the financing of projects associated with the consolidation of water security and environmental sustainability in the region. This demonstrates the fundamental importance of this geographical area, due to its greater resilience against climate change.

EUROCLIMA+ component Water management with an urban resilience perspective

A total of seven projects will be implemented through this component of the EUROCLIMA+ programme. For more information on each project visit this link:


EUROCLIMA+ is a programme financed by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Public Administration and Policy (FIIAPP), ), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and UN Environment.


For more information about the project, contact Maria Alejandra Pantoja This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about EUROCLIMA+, contact Alexandra Cortés: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For information about the Urban Water sector of EUROCLIMA+, write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.