|Title||Multiple uses of water: a view from the reality of rural communities and national politics in Colombia|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Authors||Dominguez, I., Corrales, S., Restrepo, I., Butterworth, J.A.|
|Secondary Title||International symposium on MUS|
The water needs of people living in rural areas are integrated, and take into account personal hygiene, drinking water, food preparation and small scale productive activities. These activities are all important to provide food security, income and reduce the vulnerability of poor people. The interventions made by
water supply projects that follow national policies and regulations in Colombia are, like in many other countries, fragmented and usually neglect innovative approaches. Innovative approaches that consider all basic water related activities linked to livelihoods can make a significant difference to household economies in poor areas. This paper presents evidence on how families manage water in rural areas of the Valle del Cauca Department (Colombia), and how this reality has been ignored by national policies and regulation. Proposals to reduce the gap between rural practice and policies for this sector are also suggested. These recommendations should help policy makers to take the rural context into account, to improve the regulations, and to contribute to poverty alleviation, equity and sustainable development.