Water in Latin America during the coronavirus crisis: the lessons learned

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Latin American countries have responded unevenly to the coronavirus crisis, and the area continues to face the challenge of controlling the pandemic. In this interview, Ignacio Andrés, Business Developer LATAM, details its effects on the population and the water sector. His mission is to promote digital transformation in the area.

What can you tell us about Latin America’s coronavirus experience?

The events in Latin America are behind those experienced in Spain and other European countries. Governments are very concerned about the microeconomy and the social groups living hand-to-mouth, so many measures are aimed at trying to alleviate this situation.

What impact are the different measures having?

Public health systems are generally not prepared to deal with such an extreme situation, and there are usually not enough ICU beds to fulfil the demand for coronavirus patients. The paralysis of administrative actions and tenders is common to several countries. However, workers have been gradually incorporated into their positions.

How can GoAigua technology help in Latin America?

The future of the water sector depends on digitalization. Idrica is a pioneer in the digital transformation of the water cycle management, and the application of its GoAigua technology is seen by governmental and academic actors as an innovative solution to optimize resources. In this context, our GoAigua SARS Analytics solution for monitoring the spread of COVID-19, through massive testing in sewer systems, becomes particularly relevant. In short, our digital transformation path can help other utilities in their own process.

In a post-pandemic world, what changes do you think will remain in the management of water services?

Service providers have seen their income reduced during the pandemic; some states have even split the monthly bill payment over several months to help families during the crisis. This has posed a significant challenge for some utilities.

Increasing the efficiency of management in the sector involves digitalization. I am convinced that digital transformation is here to stay, and that it is the answer to overcoming the challenges of the industry.

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