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Community aqueducts are in emergency

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Community aqueducts are in emergency

The storm that occurred on January 20 in the upper basin of the Manizales ravine damaged the intake of various aqueducts called ‘community’. These water facilities are around 60 years old (older than the Municipality itself) and there is even an initiative to declare them heritage.

Among the affected neighborhoods are La Capilla, La Mariana, Libertadores and Santa Teresita, in which the average number of subscribers is between 500 and 700, which leaves around 3,000 people affected in each one, something like more than 10,000 among the four.

They are fully legalized as small businesses, through the Dosquebradas Planning Secretariat they obtained meters to avoid waste and are registered with the Superintendence of Residential Public Services and although in Dosquebradas, there is also Serviciudad, as a provider of the aqueduct service, many People continue to prefer them due to tradition and economy.

In La Capilla it is not so serious

In the La Capilla neighborhood, Luis Gonzaga Chica is the president of the Association of Aqueduct Users and explained what happened: “The flow of water in the upper part was diverted and in a more serious way it collapsed for the aqueducts of the other neighborhoods. We have an artisanal supply with tubes”.

When asked about possible solutions to this emergency, Chica replied that “In the morning we were evaluating the situation and it takes time, it is an expensive work and we do not have the resources.”

On the other hand, he said that they are confident, because the policies of the current government are to invest in water, that users are satisfied with the service and that they feel proud to provide and defend this service, he also asked them to accompany them to plant more trees, that there be respect for the forest that the Law gives, because although it is diverse, there are coffee plantations very close.

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“The governor and the mayor are already aware, it has been known that the public cannot invest in the private, but in the Governorate they know that the investments are for the good of the community, because what was started was the transfer of the ravine to the first farmhouses to this day and there are no owners as such”, pointed out Luis Gonzaga Chica.

By Law it is prohibited for a user to have a community aqueduct and Serviciudad at the same time, although there are some people who own them due to the age of the first, but currently it is not possible, they must choose between one of the two.

In La Mariana, users are divided between the Serviciudad and community aqueducts.

In the other aqueducts

In La Mariana, which is part of what they call eastern aqueducts, Mrs. Ana Isabel Bernal attended to explain that “It is a problem that could happen in the area where it is. In November we met and contemplated that due to climate change and the heavy rains that cause the floods, the intakes are not a lasting thing, in the meetings we seek that this is not so difficult to attend to.

The affectation affects Puerto Nuevo and La Mariana, because they are united in the treatment plant and the water that is not collected from the Manizales stream is the cause of the low pressure. “At the moment they are being supplied with water every two hours a day, because the water that is collected is not enough, for example, the Libertadores aqueduct had water from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, in the afternoon the the turn will be for another neighborhood and so, so they will have to reserve the water”, says Bernal.

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The representative affirms that what they want is to take advantage of different advisers, to be able to rebuild the intakes and in the future to improve the quality of the aqueduct service, because they have already overcome many adversities and the only thing that is needed is the demarcation of the land to protect the basins as it should be, because that is what affects them.


12 liters of water per second is the capacity of the treatment plant that the Government gave them almost 10 years ago.


Community aqueduct rates are classified as fixed, family and commercial.

The meeting today

Representatives of the Carder, municipal and departmental Diger, Environmental Management Secretariat, government officials and the Dosquebradas Planning Secretariat will be present at a technical table at the emergency site together with the presidents of the users of the aqueducts, to evaluate the most convenient solution and that the community, which is the one that suffers from the cuts in service, can be certain that crises, like the current one, will be things of the past.

The theme in the Super

This case is being reviewed by the Technical Department of Aqueduct, it is an internal process in which the options and actions that can be undertaken are considered. One of these actions includes being aware of the results of today’s meeting, because it is a priority.

the voice of the mayor

Diego Ramos referred to this situation like this: “On Friday night with tremendous downpours that have fallen, we have had many emergencies both with tertiary roads and urban ones. Around seven aqueducts have been damaged because their intake has gone and this happened with Barrios Unidos, which is the largest in the Municipality. As we are individuals, we cannot obtain resources to incorporate, but through Risk Management we are sending all the communication to Bogotá. At the moment the supply is through the fire brigade, but the problem is very serious”.

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