Buenos Aires, Argentina --- (METERING.COM) --- September 3, 2009 - Argentina’s state controlled water utility AySA (Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos), which provides water and sanitation services in the Greater Buenos Aires area, has received the first US$250 million installment of a US$900 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for water and sanitation improvements, including new metering.

In the first phase of the program one of the key projects is a reduction of unaccounted-for water in the company’s service area, which will include a sectorizing of systems and the installation of 109 macrometers and 8,950 micrometers. This project is expected to save close to 100,000 m3 of water per day.

Other projects will include the rehabilitation and renovation of more than 150 km of the water supply system, expected to recover approximately 27,000 m3 of water per day, and the rehabilitation and optimization of the San Martín water treatment plant as well as various works on the sewage system.

The objective of AySA’s water and sanitation program is to improve and expand water and sanitation services in the company’s 1,750 km2 service area, with the target of providing potable water to an additional 1.5 million people and sanitation services to an additional 1.4 million people during the period 2008 to 2011. This will achieve 100 percent coverage for drinking water and 80 percent coverage for sewer service in the service area.

AySA has over 2.75 million users, of which 88 percent are residential and 11 percent non-residential. However, only approximately 13 percent of connections are billed under a metering system, and the aim is to expand micrometering, concentrating initially on non-residential users and condominiums and gradually expanding coverage to the other sectors.

Physical and commercial losses are estimated at around 37 percent.

The granting of these funds will allow AySA to continue working to achieve universal access to services vital in improving the quality of life of the population, the company said in a statement.