This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 8/1/2017
Colombia Water Treatment Equipment Production Data (USD Thousands)
Year201520162017 (Estimated)
Local Production32.133.732.6
Total Market Size508.1521.4524.1
Exchange Rates1 USD = 2,748.78 COP1 USD = 3,050.15 COP1 USD = 3,014.75 COP
Total market size = (Total local production + imports) - exports)

Of the total Colombian population of 48.2 million people, about 74 percent live in urban centers (32 million), about half are concentrated in eight major cities (Bogotá, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Cucuta, Bucaramanga, and Santa Marta) and the rest are distributed in 1,000 municipalities and rural areas.

The country’s estimated coverage of urban potable water infrastructure reaches 97 percent of the population; 91 percent has sewer coverage and only 31 percent has wastewater treatment systems in place. In rural areas, only 73 percent has access to potable water and only 70 percent access to sewer pipeline networks with no wastewater treatment. The Municipal Services Superintendence estimates that 62.7 percent of wastewater goes untreated due to the small number of basic treatment facilities.

Based on the above information, the government has estimated service deficits for 3.9 million people lacking aqueduct services and some 6.4 million lacking sewer infrastructure, with planned investments of about USD 13 billion (COP 44 billion) over the next ten years. Most of these investments will come from the central budget, but the government aims to attract private sector developers with their own financing arrangements.
Given the large negative health impact of pollution in general in Colombia, the Ministry of the Environment is improving environmental regulations and strengthening enforcement and capacity building activities nationwide in order to help Colombian companies comply with free trade agreement commitments. Key focus areas for enforcement and implementation include integrated water resource management and monitoring systems, water and wastewater treatment and sewerage systems, underground water supply, and toxic and hazardous waste collection and disposal.

Colombia is a regional leader in the development and implementation of a wastewater pollution “tax” (tasa retributiva). However, only a few environmental agencies have established regional funds to finance wastewater treatment facilities. Cities such as Bogotá and Medellin own wastewater treatment plants and are developing new projects such as Bello, Salitre II and Canoas wastewater treatment plants.

With the ratification of the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement in May 2012, about 79 percent of U.S. environmental goods and equipment received duty-free treatment immediately, improving the competitive advantage of U.S. exporters. The remaining equipment tariffs will be eliminated over a period of up to 10 years.

Leading Sub-Sectors
  • Water and wastewater treatment plants;
  • Pumps, pipes, valves;
  • Advanced filtration and disinfection systems;
  • Primary and secondary treatment systems;
  • Sludge disinfection and dewatering/drying systems.
The outlook for the Colombian water treatment sector is promising since the government is developing several new waste water treatment projects including Salitre II and Canoas (Bogotá), and the completion of Medellin’s Bello wastewater treatment plant.

Trade Events
Colombian Association of Environmental Engineering (ACODAL) 2017
May 31 - June 2, 2017
Las Americas Convention Center
Cartagena, Colombia

Web Resources
Julio Carbo
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service Bogotá
Phone: 571-275-2723

Key Contacts
Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM)
Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development
National Planning Department (DNP)
U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA)
Water and Basic Sanitation Regulatory Commission (CRA)

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Colombia Waste Management and Recycling Water and Wastewater Trade Development and Promotion