Fernando Calatroni, Technical Director General of AySA, participated in a session on Investment Plans in Latin American Cities during INVESTAGUA, held on Wednesday April 21. He started his talk with a brief historical account of the impact of water on the life of Argentinian people until the creation of AySA in March of 2006 by the national government; the purpose was to ensure continuity, improve and expand the drinking water and sanitation services in the city of Buenos Aires; currently is it the largest company in the sector in the country.
Fernando Calatroni outlined the main company facts: Buenos Aires is home to 14 million people, and nearly 11 million of them have water services; there are more than 23,500 km of drinking water pipelines, three water treatment plants, and 16 plants that treat groundwater. Concerning sanitation, they serve 8.6 million people and have twenty wastewater treatment plants.
Regarding the investments planned to maintain and build new water infrastructure, AySa follows the 2019-2023 Master Plan, which contemplates the expansion of services, improvements, maintenance and operations, and seeks to extend the service to the population that requires investment and construction, giving priority to vulnerable groups. In terms of service expansion two megaprojects are required (the South Water System, already under way thanks to CAF funds, and the North Water System) with an investment of $6.2 billion. In the area of sanitation, Fernando Calatroni mentioned $10 billion are required. "One of the main points we have to address are popular neighbourhoods", he said.
In addition, they are implementing a programme to develop water infrastructure, generate employment and ensure social inclusion; the main objective is to expand drinking water and sewerage services and foster connections, as well as to mitigate sanitation-related risks in highly vulnerable neighbourhoods.
Finally, he highlighted the major technical challenges the company faces, including sludge reuse (circular economy), water smell and taste, uninterrupted services, leakage, micro-metering and upgrades to the network.