With a population of over 29 million, Peru is the fourth most populous country in South America. Peru consists of western arid coastal plains and deserts, the central sierra highlands, Andes Mountains, and eastern lowlands with tropical rainforests that are part of the Amazon Basin.

Peru has a rapidly growing economy, largely fueled by exports from mining, agriculture, textiles, and manufacturing. This economic growth has contributed to the poverty rate declining greatly since 2004, when over half of the country lived in poverty. According to data from the World Bank approximately 23% of Peruvians currently live below the national poverty line and 4% live on less than $2 per day. However, a wide disparity of incomes exists and the poorest fifth of the population earn only 4% of the total national income.

Despite many challenges that persist, Peru has made significant progress on increasing access to drinking water coverage and met the Millennium Development Goal to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to improved drinking water by 2015. Peru is also one of the few countries in Latin America to have met the Millennium Development Goal for increased access to sanitation.


Rural access to improved water
Rural access to improved sanitation
Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, Ashaninka, other native languages
Per capita income:
Life expectancy (M/F):
Under-five mortality rate:
17/1,000 live births
Peru 1

Our Work

History of Program

Water For People began its program in Peru in 2008 and began Everyone Forever programming in Cascas, in the Region of La Libertad in 2011 and Asunción, in the Region of Cajamarca in 2013.

Everyone Forever

Everyone Forever is a unique programmatic effort to provide water and sanitation services to Everyone in targeted districts, Forever. It means these districts never again need another international water agency to address their water challenges. And it provides a model for greater replication, leading to a push for national full water and sanitation coverage.

Lasting water and sanitation solutions can only be achieved when local actors—the private sector, civil society, and local government—take on the responsibility providing water and sanitation services. For this reason, Water For People-Peru invests in building the capacity of community members, local and national government, and the private sector to provide high quality water and sanitation services. Water For People-Peru also coordinates with other sector actors by participating in the National Water Network, and coordinating with the National Water Authority, the Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank (WSP), and the Vice Ministry of Housing, Construction, and Sanitation.

Peru 2

Everyone Forever Regions


Cascas is the capital of the province of Gran Chimú in the Region of La Libertad. The main town of Cascas is 110 km from Trujillo, where the Water For People-Peru office is located. The district has a population of 14,191 inhabitants, of whom 68% live in rural areas. Cascas has a warm climate—dry all year with an average temperature of 66°F. The economy is based on agriculture, including wine grapes, rice, alfalfa, tomatoes, and fruit. Some farmers also raise livestock. Cascas has 50 communities and 79 schools.


Asunción is located in the beautiful mountainous Region of Cajamarca, 70km from main town of Cajamarca. This district has a population of 11,757 people living in 33 communities.

View Progress
Peru 3


The national government of Peru is dedicated to improving water and sanitation services in the country, and has created several programs to which municipal governments can apply for funding to support construction and rehabilitation of water systems or installation of water treatment systems. The national government also has programs to incentivize municipal governments to make positive steps toward increasing support to water and sanitation services in their districts, such as forming a municipal water and sanitation office. Water For People-Peru works in this context to help make sure district governments are aware of these programs, and offers technical support to make sure district governments can access available funding and incentives.

At the local level, Water For People-Peru works not only with the district governments (equivalent of a US county) of Cascas and Asunción, but also with the provincial governments of Gran Chimú and Cajamarca, and the regional governments (equivalent of US state) of La Libertad and Cajamarca. In this way Water For People-Peru is able to promote Everyone Forever programing in many districts beyond our two districts of direct intervention.

Peru 4

Permanent Solutions Require Innovative Initiatives

Water Resource Management

Water For People–Peru is a leader on Local Water Resource Management (LWRM). Water For People-Peru understands that in order to achieve Forever they must ensure water resources will be sustainable over time–so that as we invest in building water systems we also ensure that there will be adequate sources of water to supply them far into the future.

The Water For People-Peru team is dedicated to working with local governments and other key stakeholders to map water resources and create water resource management plans for watersheds.

In 2012, Water For People-Peru worked with volunteers and government authorities to complete a Water Resources Inventory in Cascas. In 2013 this data along with data collected on water demand and use was combined into a water resources management plan, which has been approved by local government. Water For People-Peru has also worked with the National Water Authority to create Basin Management Councils, legally prescribed structures made up of different water users that manage watersheds and create water resources management plans. Water For People-Peru also promotes household micro-meters on all drinking water systems it constructs or rehabilitates. These meters promote water conservation when linked to tariffs based on use.

Water For People-Peru also focuses programming on ensuring drinking water quality. This includes helping to implement national government programs to install chlorinators on water systems, creating water quality control plans for each system, and training local water committees on how to monitor water quality and properly operate chlorinators.

Building Local Capacity to Manage Water and Sanitation Systems

Water For People-Peru knows that communities and local government will one day need to manage their water and sanitation services on their own. This means that for water and sanitation infrastructure to be maintained long-term the capacity of the community and local government to administer, operate, and maintain their infrastructure must be built. Water For People-Peru builds capacity of municipalities through encouraging them to hire permanent staff dedicated to water and sanitation. It also works with the municipality and Provincial and Regional Governments to create water resource management plans that will facilitate long term planning and management of water resources.

Water For People-Peru also builds the capacity of local water committees, groups of community members elected by the community to manage the water system, and encourages the formation of associations of water committees, which will provide additional long-term support to water committees. Water For People-Peru specifically works with municipal partners to train water committees to operate and maintain their water systems (so that the knowledge exists locally to make minor repairs) and also to set an appropriate tariff structure so that the community has funds to maintain the system over time. Household micro-meters are encouraged as a means to ensure equitable payment for use and water conservation.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Curriculum

Water For People-Peru knows that the key to any successful change is education. Water For People-Peru has created a water, sanitation, hygiene education, and water resources management curriculum. This curriculum was approved and successfully piloted in six schools in Cascas in 2013.

Water For People-Peru and local education authorities have successfully scaled the use of the curriculum to 52 schools (26 in Cascas and 26 in Asunción). In November 2015, the positive results of this program and the support provided to schools were demonstrated through the results of a comprehensive evaluation of the schools in each district carried out by a committee of local authorities and staff from Water For People-Peru. Six schools in Cascas were recognized as “Schools that Promote the Management of Water and Sanitation” for their outstanding water, sanitation, and hygiene programs. In Asuncion, three schools were recognized for achieving excellent progress.

Current Programming

To continue progress toward Everyone in Cascas and Asunción, Water For People-Peru will co-finance the construction and rehabilitation of water systems along with local governments and communities, as well as supporting municipal governments to apply for additional funding from national government programs. Water For People-Peru and partners will also focus on how to reach rural dispersed families, often the most difficult to reach with water services, with small-scale water systems or alternative technologies.

In 2016, programming focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene in public institutions aims to help Asunción reach 100% coverage in schools and clinics, and 90% coverage in Cascas. This will involve working on improving water and sanitation infrastructure in 17 schools (13 in Cascas and 4 in Asunción) and continuing to support local education authorities and schools staff in the implementation of the water sanitation, hygiene, and local water resources management in schools across both districts.

Water For People-Peru will also prioritize training local partners, including water committees, associations of water committees, system operators, and school staff, on water quality. Increasing tariffs to levels sufficient to cover ongoing system operation and maintenance costs as well as a percentage of major replacement and repair costs will be another priority, with the goal of 15% of water committees increasing their tariffs to more sustainable levels.

On scale, Water For People-Peru will work with local partners to replicate municipal water and sanitation offices in other districts.

Our numbers are based off the following data:

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