Join efforts to promote the microwatershed-based community water planning and management model in the Xayá River, Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Mankaqchikel Associated Municipalities and ACAX Civil Association will receive the necessary technical support to strengthen social organisation, build local capacity, form a microwatershed committee and prepare a strategic plan for integrated management and administration of the Tzancán microwatershed in the municipality of Tecpán, Guatemala.

Subcuenca del río Xayá, Chimaltenango, Guatemala.

Guatemala, September 2011 (IUCN) – Strategy for the Water and Nature Initiative II (WANI 2) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) includes promoting the microwatershed-based community water planning and management model developed by the Tacaná II project in the department of San Marcos, for its adoption, adaptation and validation in other regions of Guatemala. To do this, IUCN is uniting cooperation efforts and institutional coordination with the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (Spanish acronym CATIE) and Fundación Simbiosis, which promotes local sustainable socio-environmental development based on interinstitutional cooperation and linkage with the private sector to forge strategic alliances for public-private cooperation, as well as Empresarios Juveniles, with financial cooperation from Fundación AVINA to promote integrated management of the Tzáncan microwatershed.

The subwatershed of the Xayá River has a very special strategic importance, since approximately 38% of water for human consumption and industrial and commercial use in Guatemala City is drawn from here and the neighbouring Pixcayá subwatershed. Different efforts to promote socio-environmental development in this subwatershed thus far have been weak and employed a macro approach, so no important impacts have been achieved in integrated water resource management, primarily to prevent the high degree of contamination of river flows and deterioration of natural resources.

To support the work of Mankaqchikel associated municipalities and ACAX in the Xayá subwatershed, IUCN will provide technical assistance to implement the community planning and management model with a microwatershed approach. This is based on fostering social organisation, building local capacity, recognition of land planning and management by hydrographical units, participation of local political authorities, development of the entrepreneurial capacities of young people and women, productive projects for the communities’ socioeconomic wellbeing, establishing funds for participatory water management, promoting private sector participation and involvement in water management activities and basic sanitation, and encouraging genuine integration of interinstitutional and multisector cooperation under a shared vision of sustainable development.

As part of the process, a visit was made to the Tzáncan microwatershed for a technical appraisal. Mankaqchikel associated municipalities and ACAX selected this zone as the most strategic area to apply the model since this is where the Xayá River arises and because this microwatershed supplies water for human consumption in the city of Tecpán and other municipalities in nearby departments such as Quiché and Sololá. In this assessment, personnel from IUCN, Simbiosis, CATIE, Mankaqchikel, Tecpán municipality and ACAX identified the main socio-environmental problems of the microwatershed and defined initial lines of actions and linkage of efforts to implement a model of community water planning and management under a microwatershed approach.

For more information contact:

Carlos R. Rosal Del Cid
Regional Officer
Water Management Unit
IUCN Regional Office for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean Initiative
Tel: 00502-5966-6957 and 00502-5918-0317

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