IUCN and Mankaqchikel Associated Municipalities sign a cooperation agreement to implement the watershed-based community water planning and management model in the subwatershed of the Xayá River, in Tecpán, Chimaltenango, Guatemala

30 November 2011 | News story

IUCN, supported by AVINA, will transfer the conceptual and methodological approach to Mankaqchikel and ACAX through a series of workshops on implementing its watershed-based model of integrated water resource management.

Guatemala, November 2011 (IUCN) – During an official act in the municipality of Santa Apolonia, department of Chimaltenango, the IUCN regional office’s Water Management Unit presented the conceptual and methodological aspects of its proposed microwatershed-based community water planning and management model to political authorities of the Mankaqchikel associated municipalities, members of the civil society association ACAX, representatives of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations and members of civil society, in order to launch integrated management of the Xayá River subwatershed.

The proposed work plan includes activities to foster social organization, strengthening of local capacities of land and environmental management, involvement of local political authorities in integrated water resource management, identification of environmentally sustainable pilot productive projects, basic sanitation and definition of a strategic plan to implement genuinely interinstitutional and multisectoral coordination under a comprehensive vision of sustainable development.

It was emphasized that the microwatershed approach makes it possible to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in using the resources they have. Work in smaller units, based on management priorities, enables more targeted and priority actions. Benefits can be magnified in shorter periods, moving in a logical and orderly process toward a higher level until the entire subwatershed of the Xayá River is covered.

The purpose of the cooperation agreement is to assist the Mankaqchikel associated municipalities, with support from Asociación Civil ACAX, to implement the successful microwatershed management model. Through this, and within the framework of the Water and Nature Initiative II (WANI II), IUCN will initiate advisory assistance and help facilitate the necessary activities while simultaneously raising financial resources. It will also pursue new strategic alliances to provide more direct support and aim at institutionalizing the model to achieve true land-use planning and integrated management of the subwatershed. The agreement was signed by the IUCN Regional Director and current president of Mankaqchikel associated municipalities.

Attending the event were Don Arturo Mateu and Elizabeth de Rodriguez, respective President and Vice-President of the organization Empresarios Juveniles. They reiterated their interest in continuing to support this process, especially building the capacity of young people and women in the Tzancán microwatershed, to improve the socioeconomic conditions of families in this zone, as another element of the watershed-based planning and management model.

Due to its strategic character, Mankaqchikel and ACAX selected the Tzancán microwatershed as pilot site to initiate the adoption, adaptation and validation of the microwatershed model. It is there that the Xayá River arises, where part of the municipal dockyard is located, and a protected area, and drinking water for the city of Tecpán and other adjoining municipalities comes from this microwatershed. However, water obtained from the different sources and springs is now becoming scarce in the dry season and is also biologically contaminated, requiring prior treatment to be suitable for human consumption; hence the interest in launching actions in this microwatershed.

For more information contact:
Carlos R. Rosal Del Cid
Regional Officer
Water Management Unit
E-mail: carlos.rosal@iucn.org
IUCN Regional Office for Mesoamerica
Telephones: 00502-5966-6957 and 00502-5918-0317