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Abstract - Katherine Vammen

08:35 Urban Water Challenges in Central and South America
Katherine Vammen, University of Central America, Managua, Nicaragua 

Abstract: The Americas have the most urbanized regions of the world (> 80%). Urbanization brings intensification in the use of water resources and is key to development and well being of the urban population not only to supply drinking water but also for transport and treatment of wastes. This presentation will highlight the main problems of urban water management in Latin America to suggest necessary policies and is based on a synthesis from the country by country analysis from a book from the Water Program of the Inter-American Network of Academies of Science (IANAS, 2016), Urban Water Challenges in the Americas. Although there is a wide variety of water resources characteristics among the different countries there exist many common themes in spite of the diversity in social, economic, and hydrological conditions. It was observed in all of Latin America that water management must not only concentrate on internal city problems but also look to include the surrounding watersheds which usually forms the source of water supply. Urban areas are vulnerable to climate change which require very specific management plans. In highlighting more common topics it will be clear that a diversity of water management schemes and policies will be required for the Latin American countries.