Background Gradient

Peru

Peru is an Andean country located on the Pacific coast of South America, with a population of 32.8 million people. Its topographic variation, particularily its central mountain ranges, divide the country into three main climatic zones. The Pacific Coast zone is one of the driest regions in the world and where most of the Peruvian population lives. The Andean zone has microclimates depending on the different altitudes and rainfall, but generally has a temperate climate. Finally, the Amazon zone has a tropical climate and higher rainfall, but also the lowest population of all three zones. This creates multiple challenges regarding water and sanitation management.

A rich source of information for measuring the current state of access to water and sanitation are household surveys. Throughout Latin America and the Carribean, household surveys provide us with representative data of the countries' population, validated by statistical institutes, which allow cross-checking with other social statistics such as area, income, and gender breakdowns.

This page relies heavily on the 2020 National Household Survey on Living Conditions and Poverty (ENAHO) which surveyed 34,490 representative households. The survey collects some data on water in its household surveys according to the WHO / UNICEF guidelines; however, it does not allow for differentiation between categories of improved non-piped water or ask about exclusive sanitation facilities.

For more information on why OLAS uses household surveys, click here.

Data sources:
Methodology:

Progress Towards Measuring SDG 6

Sociodemography

Access to water and sanitation in Peru varies significantly between urban and rural areas, where urban households enjoy much higher access coverage. Approximately 21% of Peruvians live in rural areas.

Inequality in Peru is evident when viewing the income quintiles from the country’s 2020 household survey. Each quintile represents 20% of Peruvian households, with the 1st quintile representing the lowest per capita income, and the 5th representing the highest income in the country. The average income of the top quintile in Peru is 11.9 times higher than that of the bottom quintile.

Average monthly household income by quintile in local currency

Population

Urbanization rate

Rural

Urban

Water access

Water access

Most Peruvians live in urban areas that enjoy higher rates of access to piped water sources, while Peruvians living in rural communities face more difficulties. Although rural water coverage rates are lower than their urban counterparts, rural piped water coverage is much higher than other countries in the region – 73% of rural households have piped water inside their homes, compared with 87% of households in urban areas. We see the greatest inequities in Peru when looking at continuity of water service by income quintile. Only 16% of the households in the lowest quintile have piped water with continuous service, while 63% of wealthy households have piped water with continuous water service.

Split data by:

Water Access Data by Quintile and Access Area

The above sankey diagram shows water access data disag by community (rural/urban), income quintile, location of water access (piped in-home, to plot, or other), and continuity of water access. When hovering over the diagram, the number displayed shows the ratio of respondents that fit into the category on the right that come from the category on the left.

Sanitation Access

Sanitation Access

Access to sanitation is a challenge in Peru especially in rural communities. Peru has one of the lowest rates of rural septic tank use in the region. In fact, only 28% of rural households have septic tanks. As such, although 22% of rural households have a sewer connection – fairly high rural coverage – the low rate of septic tank usage implies a generally low rate of access to improved sanitation. 27% of rural households use improved latrines giving a total of 77 percent with improved sanitation facilities, compared to 95% of urban households.

Split data by:

Sanitation Data by Quintile and Access Area

The above sankey diagram shows sanitation access data broken down by community (rural/urban), income quintile, and type of facility. When hovering over the diagram, the number displayed shows the ratio of respondents that fit into the category on the right that come from the category on the left.

Water Resources

Water Resources

Water Availability

Peru has the 8th largest share of fresh water globally, with 1.89% of the world’s freshwater resources and 71% of the world’s glaciers. Likewise, the country has 1,007 rivers and 12,201 lagoons, which allows it to have a per capita water availability per year of approximately 60,000 m3/person/year. The country is divided into three important hydrographic regions with an availability of almost 2 trillion cubic meters of water each year: Amazon (98.2% of national water supply), Pacific (1.6% of national water supply) and Titicaca (0.3% of national water supply). 66% of the population resides in the Pacific region, which contains only 2.2% of the available water supply.

Water Stress

At the national level, Peru is classified as a country with a high water stress level . This level of stress is not related to lack of the resource, but to the quality of the resource in some regions of the country, which impedes its use and supply in terms of both quality and quantity. This is mainly due to the low percentage of domestic wastewater treatment that is discharged into natural water bodies and the use of polluting substances in different productive activities.
In Peru, climate change can generate significant changes in precipitation patterns, which can affect water availability and increase the possibility of natural disasters related to water.

Wastewater Treatment

In Peru, the average percentage of urban wastewater treated was 78.24% in 2019. The national average was a result of the treatment carried out by:

Wastewater treatment coverage is much lower in rural areas – the percentage of wasterwater treated at the national level (including rural and urban communities) was 44% in 2020.

Water and Sanitation Management

Water and Sanitation Management

Institutional Framework

There are four main institutional actors or categories of actors in the water and sanitation sector in Peru: (i) the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation, Ministerio de Vivienda, Construcción y Saneamiento (MVCS) which functions as the sector’s rector; (ii) the National Superintendence of Sanitation Services, Superintendencia Nacional de Servicios de Saneamiento (SUNASS) which is in charge of regulation and oversight; (iii) the Technical Agency for the Administration of Sanitation Services, Organismo Técnico de la Administración de los Servicios de Saneamiento (OTASS) which is the promoter and executor of sector policies; and (iv) the Empresas Prestadoras de Servicios de Saneamiento (EPS) (urban areas) and the Sanitation Services Administration Board, Juntas Administradoras de Servicios de Saneamiento(JASS) in rural areas, which oversee the provision of water and sanitation services through public, private or mixed Sanitation Service Providers.

Development Programs and Plans

In Peru, there are different plans and programs related to water and sanitation that seek to guarantee universal access and close the gap in access to water and sanitation services in the country: