Maipo River Basin Meeting on Water Security Brought Tog...
A Multi-Sectoral Dialogue Has Initiated in Order to Achieve Water Security in the Maule River Basin
• The meeting was organized by Escenarios Hídricos 2030 and carried out in an online format, as a prevention measure due to the health crisis.
• The “Water Transition Workshop” brought together more than 60 participants, who agreed on the urgency of developing a roadmap that guarantees the availability of water in the region.
The first “Taller Transición Hídrica del Maule” (Maule Water Transition Workshop) took place on Tuesday, March 31st, and counted with the participation of over 60 representatives of national organizations and institutions interested in achieving a responsible and sustainable use of the water that flows into the Maule River.
The meeting took place despite the sanitary crisis caused by the Covid-19, having to change its in-person format to a virtual mode, to which guests joined very enthusiastically. Among the attendees the event counted with the participation of local community representatives such as rural potable water programs (RPW), surveillance boards, cooperatives, municipalities, NGOs, State institutions, as well as the private and academic sectors.
This workshop is part of a series of activities organized by Water Scenarios 2030 (Escenarios Hídricos 2030, EH2030) and whose goal is to collectively build a roadmap to achieve water security in this river basin located in central Chile. In other words, the aim is to establish an optimum combination of measures, actions, and solutions that can be applied in the short, medium, and long terms, ensuring the availability of water required for human well-being and socio-economic development of the Maule River area.
Water Scenarios 2030 is an initiative coordinated by Fundación Chile, Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano, and Fundación Avina, and in the past three years it has generated an updated information database on the country’s water situation, making it possible to understand which territories are most affected and, on from there on, to develop concrete proposals to begin a transition to water security.
“In spite of the circumstances, the urgency of the water problem forces us to continue with all our efforts to implement those measures that will lead us to achieve sustainability of the resource. That is why, using the technology at our disposal, we are moving forward with this workshop, where we are addressing, alongside the territory’s stakeholders, the most appropriate solutions to their problems, ” is the statement of Claudia Galleguillos, EH2030 coordinator for the Maule River Basin.
For his part, Diego Luna, Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano’s representative in Chile and facilitator of the process, valued this first Maule’s work session, pointing out that “The vision from within the basins is essential to advance towards a water transition in Chile; proposing collective and collaborative solutions, based on local knowledge, and the needs of management and use of water resources in the territories”.
The meeting kept going for 4 hours (9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.) and was divided into 2 blocks. During the first part, the EH2030 technical team presented the baseline for the Maule River Basin, that is, the current situation of the four strategic axes where progress is expected to be made in that particular territory: management and institutionality, water ecosystems, water uses, and water sources. Subsequently, the participants were divided into 4 groups, according to the geographical sector of the basin – upper, northern central, southern central, and lower- where they proceeded to review and validate the water problems and associated causes identified in each zone. This analysis will allow generating a shared baseline to later build the roadmap.
Manuel Contreras, Executive Director of the Centro de Ecología Aplicada (CEA, Center for Applied Ecology), presented the baseline of the water ecosystems axis: “In summary, we see that there are local and global pressures that are threatening the natural systems of the basin. The aquatic ecosystems register changes in their ecological state in quantity and quality, and the terrestrial ecosystems present fragmentation. This denotes the scarce implementation of measures, management, and conservation of the water resources, particularly connected to the strategy of biodiversity conservation”.
“We require a regional strategy that considers conservation, restoration, and preservation of water resources with an adaptation to climate change perspective,” concluded Contreras.
Ignacio González, Manager at the Pellines rural potable water cooperative, considered the workshop “extremely productive” and valued the methodology that in his opinion, allows to progress in very relevant aspect to find solutions. “It is very interesting to hear different opinions, to get in touch with other realities, because one usually has a biased view from our own corner, in this case from RPW programs. My work table had an extremely varied group and the conversation was very productive, as well as related to what is happening here in Pellines,” was González’s comment, who despite some internet connection issues from Constitución, participated very actively in the meeting.
In the meantime, the Longaví River Supervisory Board’s Technical Manager, Lisandro Farías, was confident that “We will have good results and move forward into a better water management. As an organization we see that we have total territorial relevance in the issues that are being raised, because the irrigation area is completely covered with the analysis area,” said Farías, adding that they will provide further background to adjust some data and enrich the work of EH2030.
The participants were invited to the next “Maule Water Transition” workshop that will take place on May 26, where a wide range of measures applicable to the territory will be presented, such as conservation and restoration, nature-based solutions, water efficiency, strategic use and new water sources.
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