Big boost for conservation of freshwater resources in Latin America
“Water reserves are defined as the volume of environmental flow that must be conserved in the entire basin to ensure the life of a river and its benefits for people and nature,” said Eugenio Barrios, Director of Public Policy of WWF Mexico and Coordinator of the initiative.
“Water reserves are an innovative tool that mitigates water management problems by allocating water to the environment before a basin or aquifer is over-exploited, guaranteeing the continuity of the hydrological cycle and avoiding social conflicts,” he added.
The National Programme of Water Reserves, under the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), includes the participation of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas and the support of WWF and the IDB.
“To date, the programme has agreed to reserve water for 331 watersheds, which represent nearly 50% of the country,” said Dr Victor Alcocer Yamanaka, deputy technical director of CONAGUA.
Mauro Nalesso, Lead Specialist in the IDB’s Water and Sanitation Division said that securing water for the environment is a fundamental component of water security in the region and will help promote cooperation.
“We are happy that these five countries are interested in water reserves and proud to be able to collaborate in scaling up this remarkable Mexican initiative,” said Roberto Troya, WWF Regional Director of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“This initiative shows that strengthening water management is a powerful tool for conserving biodiversity. As the theme of this year's World Water Day says: the answer is in nature.”