Factsheet #4

Intermunicipial cooperation bodies for the provision of water services and sanitation

Instrument Type


Governance Level


Governance Mode


Water management topics addressed

Drought & water scarcity
Water abstraction for irrigation and other economic activities
Water quality issues due to nutrient pollution
Water quality issues: Other reasons

Implementation requirements

Financial capacity


Human capacity


Political buy-in


Timeframe for implementation


#4: Intermunicipial cooperation bodies for the provision of water services and sanitation


The formation of a body for inter-municipal cooperation is generally a reaction to a lack of capacity of small scale municipalities, which bundle their financial and human capacities to execute certain obligatory tasks such as water services provision and sanitation.


Apart from bridging the financial and human capacity gap, it can also help to achieve efficiency gains. Its aim is to balance lacks of capacities within small municipalities by the formation of intercommunal agreements with other municipalities in order to extend service coverages, ensure safe drinking water and adequate treatment of wastewater, promote integrated management of water resources and to ensure the population’s health.

Example: CIAPACOV, an inter-municipal Commission for water provision and sanitation services in Colima y Villa de Alvarez

The internmunicipal water commission CIAPACOV establishes an agreement for cooperation in the provision of water services among three of the five municipalities of the region. Originally, the agreement was held between the two largest and geographically closest municipalities of the area due to the cost efficiency benefits of having one shared system. The third municipality joined in a later period and began to receive water services from the common facility as its population was steadily increasing. CIAPACOV establishes a Management Board where local authorities are represented and a Consultative Committee which supports the former and is composed by different stakeholders of the municipalities. The overall objective of the agreement is to improve the quality of drinking water supply, sewage sinks and sanitation services in order to raise the level of living standards of the population. The project has been successful as it provided an efficient service, achieving in 2009 the 100% coverage for drinkable water and 98% for sanitation purposes. Furthermore, management reviews and evaluations based on a range of indicators of operational and commercial efficiency have been regularly published, fostering transparency.


Aguiñaga E., Aranda A., Ardis L., Castro E., do Livramento Clementino M., Camara R., Hernandez G., Markey S., McRae J., Reza S. M. (2015). Planning for effective governance in metropolitan areas in Mexico (p. 22). https://idl-bnc-idrc.dspacedirect.org/bitstream/handle/10625/54455/IDL-54455.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y Retrieved on 22 September 2020.

OECD (2013). Making water reform happen in Mexico. OECD Studies on Water. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/making-water-reform-happen-in-mexico_9789264187894-en Retrieved on 22 September 2020.

OECD (2015). Puebla-Tlaxcala, Mexico. OECD Territorial Review. (p. 221). https://www.oecd.org/regional/oecd-territorial-reviews-puebla-tlaxcala-mexico-2013-9789264203464-en.htm Retrieved on 22 September 2020.

http://ciapacov.gob.mx Retrieved on 24 September 2020

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