Puerto Rico Association of Community Aqueducts calls 1st meeting to formalize group
With the goal of formalizing a network of community aqueducts that can represent the interests of those who run local drinking water systems, the new Puerto Rico Association of Community Aqueducts Inc. has called board members those groups to attend the first assembly.
Among other matters, the Association will use the meeting to formally ratify its operation, after being registered at the Puerto Rico State Department in April. The event will culminate a series of meetings among community aqueducts held since 2019 and facilitated and supported by the Puerto Rico Community Foundation (PRFC).
The assembly will be held May 14 at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum, in Ponce, where the first members of its Board of Directors are expected to be elected.
The association seeks to “unite and amplify” the voice of the community aqueducts and, in addition, serve as a bridge and facilitate learning and experiences among its members who represent some 242 communities, which manage these drinking water systems that operate independently from the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA).
Another goal is to strengthen the self-management and future sustainability of these community infrastructures, so they can face challenges, draw attention to them, share ideas, identify efficiencies, and have representation before the government agencies that regulate them, the nonprofit stated.
After Hurricane María struck in 2017, the FCPR developed the “Agua Pa’Nosotros Program” to strengthen the administration, infrastructure, community organization and compliance of the aqueducts, recognizing that they fulfill a vital function of providing access to drinking water to their communities.
In addition to providing subsidies and technical assistance, the FCPR facilitated regional meetings with aqueducts to discuss challenges and knowledge, which identified the need to formalize a national organization that groups all the community aqueducts on the island.
Other regional meetings were held in 2021, in which delegates from the regions in Puerto Rico where there are community aqueducts were elected: center, center-south, southwest, and southeast, who will be present at the assembly that they organized.
The Association has the support of Global Giving and responds to the FCPR’s mission of achieving the transformation of communities through the increase of community capital.