The overexploitation and pollution of water resources of the San Jeronimo River, together with the agricultural development and massive deforestation, have generated conflicts between bordering communities. These conflicts originated with the deterioration in the water quality and quantity.
The creation of the San Jeronimo Basin Committee is aimed at contributing to this problem’s solution. This Committee is enabling both the recovery of the river basin and the creation of alternative sources of income for its inhabitants through more efficient use of the resource.
The San Jeronimo Basin Committee acts as a negotiating body between all the basin’s users. The Committee comprises main water users representing various functions, including agricultural irrigation, aquaculture, hydroelectric use, human consumption and tourism.
Its mission is to implement integrated management of the sub-basin, as well as to preserve biodiversity to ensure the socioeconomic well-being of the population and of water consumers. The creation of the Committee has allowed for strengthened coordination between all the different key players involved, and the development of joint activities aimed at preserving the river basin and promoting sustainable water use.
Through the incorporation of institutions, users, and NOGs increased recognition of IWRM principles among local population.
The social responsibility of organizations located in a specific area is a key factor in obtaining positive results in water conservation. The negotiating role of the Committee has helped to establish coordinating mechanisms between different water resource users, and among its Board of Directors and coordination commissions through the development of joint operations.
Importance of case for IWRM
This case shows that through coordinated efforts between local key players from a communitarian base, an appropriate atmosphere can be created to develop actions framed in an IWRM focus with the support of public and private parties. At the same time, this process also guarantees benefits for all the participants in efforts to protect and preserve a river basin.