A reservoir upgrade in Buenos Aires will make a positive impact on the city’s underprivileged neighborhoods.

In 2011, Buenos Aires unveiled a Hydraulic Master Plan intended to combat the increasing frequency of floods and their associated social and economic damage. The project will upgrade the city’s stormwater drainage network to provide protection against 10-year rainfall events. The project consists of the installation of three reservoirs that together can hold up to 300 million liters of water during heavy rains. These projects will benefit about 700,000 people living in the target basins, 10% of whom are in the most critical areas.

One of these reservoirs is Lake Soldati. This flood-prone lake, surrounded by about 46,000 mainly low-income residents, will be turned into a natural reservoir, allowing excess rain water to flow to a nearby river in a controlled manner, and prevent flooding of the lake’s shores. The goal of this reservoir is to protect vulnerable residents and help foster sustainable social and economic development in the area.

46,000 residents protected by the initiative

The challenge

The combination of poor stormwater drainage, due to recent urbanization, and increasing rates of floods has put Buenos Aires’ most vulnerable and low-income populations at serious risk. The new network of reservoirs aims to decrease the frequency of flooding and improve the social and economic standing of at-risk residents.


Economic Fewer floods equal fewer disruptions to transportation, communication, and resource access, all of which will mean savings for the city as well as individual residents.

Environmental The rehabilitation of Lake Soldati will involve an extensive cleanup, as well as an outreach campaign to ensure that residents have the knowledge and resources needed to keep the lake clean.

Health The project will improve sanitation conditions for the vulnerable residents who live in informal settlements around Lake Soldati.

Social The Lake Soldati project not only protects low-income residents, but contributes to their neighborhood’s development by ensuring access to essential services such as transportation, health, and education.

About Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the capital and most populous city of Argentina. “Buenos aires” can be translated as “fair winds” or “good airs”. The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 17 million. Buenos Aires is considered an ‘alpha city’ by the study GaWC5. Buenos Aires’ quality of life was ranked 81st in the world and one of the best in Latin America in 2012, with its per capita income among the three highest in the region. Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its preserved Spanish/European-style architecture and rich cultural life.

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