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Título : Urban Water. Venezuela
Autor : González, Ernesto J.
Matos, María L.
Buroz, Eduardo
Ochoa-Iturbe, José
Machado-Allison, Antonio
Martínez, Róger
Montero, Ramón
Palabras clave : Urban waters
Fecha de publicación : Mar-2015
Editorial : Urban Water Challenges in the Americas. Perspectives from the Academies of Sciences
Resumen : Venezuela has more than twenty-eight million inhabitants, eighty percent of whom are concentrated in barely twenty percent of the nation’s territory. Sixty percent of the population lives in the Andine-Coastal arc – the region with the least available water resources. This causes problems involving the distribution and performance of sanitation services, in addition to the problems caused by the displacement of large volumes of water outside the basins in which they originate. There are nine (9) regional hydrological companies and eight (8) decentralized companies nationwide that offer drinking water and sanitation services. The supply of drinking water in the largest cities depends mainly on surface water (reservoirs), which cover over ninety percent of the urban population and more than eighty percent of the sewage collection, but with less than fifty percent of these waters being treated. At present, several sanitation and sewage treatment projects are underway. Regarding the relationship between available urban water and health, in Venezuela there have been many cases of waterborne diseases. Prominent among these are diarrhea, amoebas, malaria and dengue, with the highest rates occurring among the poorest strata of the population. This chapter also offers an approach to environmental health from the space inside housing projects and homes, with observations about indications and indices aimed at gauging the interaction between water and environmental health. There are also observations concerning the high vulnerability of the nation’s water regime. Accordingly, it is of vital importance to monitor the effect of climate change on the sundry water supply sources, since most of the adverse effects are tied to the availability of water. There have occurred such phenomena as extreme drought and flooding in the country’s largest cities, all of them with negative effects on the urban population. Therefore, there is emphasis on the importance of timely population planning (master plans) in order to prevent future personal and property damage. Also prominently mentioned are the structural and non-structural measures intended to mitigate the effects of flooding on the cities. The conclusion is that plans must be implemented for water resources management, which are the result of a well-planned and conceived interaction among the available technology, society, the economy and –given the occurrence of extreme water related events– the existing institutions, with a view to balancing the supply and demand of this resource. Furthermore, the plans for managing water resources and the mitigation of problems linked with the water availability cycle in urban areas must involve the participation of organized communities.
ISBN : 978-607-8379-12-5
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