million people worldwide lack access to an improved water source. Source: WHO and Unicef 2014.


million people in Latin America lack access to safe or improved water. Source: WHO and Unicef 2014.


million Latin Americans lack access to sanitation systems. Source: WHO and Unicef.2014.


community-based water and sanitation organizations (CWSOs). Source: CLOCSAS

Our Vision

Helping achieve sustainable, universal access to water and sanitation as a public good and human right in vulnerable communities through strengthening democratic governance in water and sanitation service management.

Fundación Avina,which acts as the coordinating organization for the Platform for Innovation with Purpose, considers access to water and sanitation a fundamental and inalienable human right, as it is inextricably linked to human dignity and vital for sustaining life and ensuring participation in the public sphere, economic security, environmental integrity, and social cohesion. Governments have the duty and obligation to recognize water as a common and public good. Therefore they should safeguard and ensure access to water and sanitation for the entire population, as well as conserve water resources and related natural ecosystems for current and future generations. Fundación Avina recognizes that human consumption of potable water should be prioritized over the other possible uses of water so that the right to a life with dignity can be guaranteed. National and local societies can decide for themselves what type of water utility operators they prefer: public, private, community-based, or a combination of the above. They can make this decision while respecting water uses and customs, the rule of law, and their own democratic decision-making processes. Regardless of the type of utility operator, governments maintain the ultimate responsibility for guaranteeing that all inhabitants have access to these services. In Latin America, over 70 million people in rural and peri-urban communities have access to water and sanitation thanks to the services provided by community water and sanitation organizations (cooperatives, boards, or other types of organizations). Avina proposes that societies and their respective governments legally recognize community water initiatives and that they be considered fundamental partners in the implementation of universal access to water and sanitation services, especially in light of the long-deferred responsibility of governments. Governments should ensure that the entities that are formed to provide these services guarantee citizen participation, public oversight, and transparency in the management of resources and other aspects of operation. In this way, they will help to avoid a crisis of governability, minimize food security problems, reduce poverty, and protect key ecosystems in the hydrologic cycle in a sustainable manner.

  1. Promoting solutions for Community Water and Sanitation Organization CWSO/OCSA sustainability that incorporate essential services, such as training and specialized technical assistance.
  2. Generating initiatives for responsible private sector water usage through donation of water and sanitation services to vulnerable communities and aquifer recharge area conservation. These initiatives incentivize private and public sector engagement within a context of climate change.
  3. Contributing to innovation and improvements in traditional and vanguard technologies to bring water and sanitation services to scale in terms of impact on the number of people effectively served.

Based on lessons learned in the past several years in Latin America, we are planning on expanding our activities to expand access to water in at least two countries on the African continent.

Our Alliances

CARE International

Development, dissemination, and implementation of the 10-module Programa Unificado de Fortalecimiento de Capacidades (Unified Capacity-Building Program) for community water and sanitation organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Coca-Cola South Latin

Joint work in Argentina, Chile, and Peru as part of the Iniciativa +AGUA (+WATER Initiative) to ensure access to safe water and protect water sources through conservation of watersheds. Projects are designed to conserve and restore native ecosystems, as well as to build solutions for access to water fit for human consumption, while involving the active participation of local communities.

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Confederación Latinoamericana de Organizaciones Comunitarias de Servicios de Agua y Saneamiento (CLOCSAS)

Promotion of the membership of community water and sanitation organizations (Organizaciones Comunitarias de Servicios de Agua y Saneamiento - OCSAS) in local and regional associations, capacity-building for community water managers, and recognition of the important contribution this sector makes to development in Latin American and Caribbean countries. A highlight of this alliance was the joint organization of 5 Latin American meetings on community water management.

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SC Johnson

Joint work since 2013 in Argentina on a program to expand access to safe water in vulnerable communities, respecting the basic human right to life, health, and hygiene.

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Programa Sed Cero (Zero Thirst Program)

Investment in solutions to bring access to water to 100,000 families in the South American Chaco.

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WASH Advocates

Sponshorship of a competiton to promote advocacy for improved public policies on a global scale.

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Xylem Inc.

Co-investment since 2013 in the work of our ally in the northeast region of Brazil, Articulación Semiárido Brasileño (ASA), to bring potable water to schools that serve more than 6,230 children by building 53 cisterns over the past two years. These children no longer have their instruction interrupted by the long droughts that affect this area.

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In 2015, Avina Americas helped to increase and improve access to water in rural communities. For example, the Enxet community in the South American Chaco region of Paraguay now has two rainwater storage cisterns to provide water during times of drought. Likewise, thousands of people who live in the semi-arid region of Brazil now have access to safe water, and a similar project was launched in 2015 to improve access to water in the Brazilian regions of Tapajós-Arapiuns and Santarém. In addition, the government of Brazil contributed 27 million USD to expand the scale of the initiative in the semi-arid region, making it possible to install 5,000 cisterns that are used by public schools. These initiatives also include water management training programs for members of local communities, underlining the important role of education in proper management of natural resources.

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Together we can make a Change News


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National Meeting of Unions, Federations, and Leagues for Community Providers of Drinking Water and Sanitation Services [in Spanish]

National Meeting of Unions, Federations, and Leagues for Community Providers of Drinking Water and Sanitation Services [in Spanish]

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