CAF - Development Bank of Latin America / Inter-American Development Bank / National Water Commission, Mexico / World Wide Fund for Nature

Eye on LAC- Water Reserves, an Ecological Water Management Model

Wednesday 29 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: M6

Water reserves are defined as the volume of water allocated to a specific function: ecological protection. Allocating water to this environmental function contributes to water security, especially in watersheds threatened by climate-induced scarcity and development pressures. By setting aside an ecological volume of water (following the notion of environmental flows), water reserves guarantee healthy watersheds and ecosystems.

Mexico was the first country to pioneer the model. The Mexican case, which is now a National Program, represents a fruitful collaboration between governments, NGOs, and academic institutions that combines technical and policy aspects. More than two years into implementation, the Program has succeeded as an effective water management and biodiversity conservation strategy that has reduced climate change vulnerability in several strategic watersheds.

The session will discuss the origins of the Water Reserves Program in Mexico and the results it has achieved so far. It will also discuss options for replicating and scaling up the model throughout LAC, with focus on countries such as Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. The session will close with a discussion (using interactive technologies) to identify the challenges and opportunities of the water reserves program as a benchmark for ecological water management.


11:00   Introduction. Julián Suárez, CAF

Part 1. National Water Reserve Programs for the Environment 
11:10     Mexico’s National Water Reserve Program for the Environment: Overview, Technical Aspects and Lessons Learned. Eugenio Barrios, WWF
11:25     Water Resources Conservation in Ecuador: an environmental initiative and framework for a water reserve program. Diana Ulloa, SENAGUA

11:40      Q&A. Moderated by Raúl Muñoz, IDB

Part 2: Panel Discussion: Challenges and opportunities to replicate the experience in LAC  
11:55 Adaptation to Climate Change Perspective. Harm Duel, Deltares

12:00   Biodiversity conservation/ecosystem services. Jeff Opperman, WWF
12:05  Governance. Eugenio Barrios, WWF and Diana Ulloa, SENAGUA

12:10  Panel Discussion and Q&A. Moderated by Raúl Muñoz, IDB

12:25  Summary and Wrap-up