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Framework Law

The main law applicable to water resources management, which covers all of the following areas: administration; management, conservation and use of freshwater resources; water rights; waterworks; water supply

Constitutional provisions

Date of text: 25 January 2009

Right to water: Article 16 explicitly recognizes the right of every person to food and water as well as the obligation of the State to ensure food security, by means of healthy, adequate and sufficient food for the entire population. Furthermore article 20 explicitly recognizes the right to universal and equitable access to basic services of potable water and sewerage.

Natural resources: The industrialization and sale of natural resources shall be a priority of the State. The profits obtained from the exploitation and sale of the natural resources shall be distributed and reinvested to promote economic diversification in the different territorial levels of the State. The percentage of profits to be distributed shall be approved by the law. The processes of industrialization shall be carried out with preference given to the place of origin of the production, and conditions shall be created which favor competitiveness in the internal and international market (Article 355). The activities of exploration, exploitation refining, industrialization, transport and sale of non-renewable natural resources shall have the character of state necessity and public utility (Article 356). Since it is social property of the Bolivian people, no foreign person or enterprise, nor any private Bolivian person or enterprise, may register the property title to Bolivian natural resources in stock markets, nor can they use them as means for financial operations that grant title to or use them as security. The annotation and registry of reserves is the exclusive authority of the State (Art. 357). The rights to the use and exploitation of natural resources shall be subject to the Constitution and the law. These rights shall be subject to periodic review for compliance with the technical, economic and environmental regulations. The violation of the law shall lead to the reversion or nullification of the rights of use and exploitation.

Agriculture

Water used for irrigation, forestry and aquaculture

Water Supply and Sanitation

Provision of water services by public utilities or commercial organizations; water supply for domestic, industrial or other purposes; right to safe and clean drinking water and basic sanitation; quality of piped water; sewerage

Governance

The political, social, economic and administrative systems that govern water management and conservation; good practices; good governance; decentralization; water user’s associations

Infrastructure

Waterworks; water supply systems; dams; hydropower systems; irrigation systems

Water Resources Management and Water Rights

Ownership and control of water resources; abstraction and diversion of water; allocation and quotas; riparian rights; priority of rights; free water use

Water and Environment

Water in environmentally-sensitive areas; ‘water demand’ by ecosystems; protection forests; water conservation zones; environmental impact assessment

Water Quality and Pollution Control

Control of pollution and quality of freshwater bodies and groundwater; agricultural point and non-point sources of pollution; water quality standards

Groundwater

Freshwater resources located below the surface of the earth; aquifers; groundwater abstraction; well-sinking; boreholes; hydrogeology

Disaster Resilience

Water-related hazards; flood; drought; water shortage; adaptation to climate change; early warning system/emergency intervention system