A decade after a 1999 World Bank-sponsored meeting of Latin American water and sanitation experts, there has been progress in rural sanitation in that region. Nonetheless, the Millennium Development Goals for improved sanitation services may be out of reach. Looking toward the next ten years, important challenges for rural water and sanitation will include: ensuring long-term sustainability of sanitation services and monitoring systems, improving the contribution of municipal government, and establishing appropriate legal and financial policies.
- The 1999 seminar in Cusco identified the following as key for sustainable water and sanitation: a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach; national policies for the sector; community development, including the gender perspective; demand in a community, commitments by service providers, and assurance of technical viability as prerequisites for investment; and efficient management for long-term operation.
- Progress in the 2000's, according to the Cusco+10 convention, includes: the demand-based approach and tailoring projects to local contexts; a more long-term outlook, regarding both financing projects and sustaining natural resources; comprehensive water management; and equity consideration in access to sanitation.
- In the next decade, expanding sustainable basic rural sanitation must be given greater emphasis. This will involve legal and regulatory frameworks, low water-use sanitation technologies, new marketing strategies, and serious consideration of environmental costs.
- Public-private-social partnerships will continue to provide opportunities for synergy and the creation of innovative solutions.