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From 1996 to 2013, strong tensions emerged between the communities of the Piuray-Corimarca basin and the SEDACUSCO EPS, due to the unequal distribution of water resources. Indeed, Cusco's drinking water supply model was managed in an extractivist way, i.e. based on the massive export of natural resources. Indeed, the equivalent of 50% of the water demand of the population of Cusco is captured in the Piuray lagoon, not only for human consumption but also for industry. Gradually, the water level in the lagoon dropped, impacting the communities living in the basin. In addition, the aquifer at the head of the basin, which supplies the lake with water, was no longer functioning properly due to erosion problems and loss of vegetation cover, preventing water infiltration and aquifer recharge.

Consequently, EPS SEDACUSCO has established an agreement with local stakeholders in the basin to implement actions to protect and restore water-related ecosystems services. Through the implementation of Payment for Environmental Services, contributors to environmental services (community residents) can receive remuneration from the beneficiaries and users of these services (Cusco residents). The project has led to action on more than 2000 ha: construction of infiltration ditches, restocking of natural pastures, reforestation with endemic species, recovery of "pata patas" or terraces of slow formation to prevent soil erosion, and finally, the construction of 2 earth dams for infiltration and retention of rainwater with a total capacity of 21 000 m³.

In addition, in order to avoid contamination of Lake Piuray, owners must develop conservation actions, for example through agroforestry and agriculture without plant protection products. SEDACUSCO has also installed 411 latrines in the communities, improving health conditions.


Region of the world
Latin America and Caribbean
Society challenge
Water availability and sharing
Field target
Mountain area
Ecological sanitation
Communal development
Environmental education
Women’s involvement
Green infrastructures
Set up of ancestral know how
Payment for Environmental Services
Restauration of ecosystems services
Revegetation with endemic species
Laguna Piuray, Peru
PES project coordinator at SEDACUSCO
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