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