GWP South America Presents Winning IWRM Projects in Webinar Series

In 2020, GWP South America organised a contest among regional Partners. The topic was on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and featured projects successfully carried out in 2020. The top 5 submissions were shared in a series of webinars during April to June this year – presenting results, conclusions, and concerns.

390 people from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela participated in the five webinars – with an audience that extended to Canada, Mexico, São Tomé and Príncipe, Spain, and the United States. These were government actors and decision makers, academics, and representatives of NGOs, research institutes, and youth.

The first project was presented on 29 April, led by Néstor Mazzeo, Cristina Zurbriggen and Daniel Pérez. Their topic was ”Process of construction of the integrated management of water resources in Uruguay. Status of situation and controversies". The objective of the project was to analyse main advances, limitations, and challenges in the transition from a management-focused, on-command-control to an integrated management of water resources in Uruguay from 2004 to the present.

"The interaction between political science and society continues to be one of the most important elements. The dynamics are conditioned by crisis events. We should abandon the ´firefighter format´ and give support for these processes and construction is required," said Mazzeo.

The second presentation took place on 6 May, and was about a scalable proposal from the Province of Mendoza in Argentina: "Groundwater and the mitigation of the effect of drought as an extreme hydrological phenomenon. Its regulation in Argentine water law". This was presented by Nicolás González del Solar and Mariana Rugoso.

"The issue raised is complex, and it is an excellent case example to consider because it can be extrapolated to other places in South America and other continents, deeply linked to the GWP Strategy, with the objective of achieving resilience in the face of climate change. Extreme events are increasingly deep and persistent. But we work together with you, partners, and close institutions so that this can be mitigated,” commented Leandro Díaz, Chair of GWP South America.

On 13 May, a Venezuelan youth programme was presented: "Young people as agents of change in favour of IWRM”, introduced by Cecilia Gómez Miliani.

Alejandra Mujica, Regional Coordinator of GWP South America, said it was encouraging that the webinar attracted both young and older people, showing a broad interest in this topic: “This is very gratifying for us and indicates that we are not alone in our process of integrating young people into the world of water.”

At the end of the webinar, Leandro Díaz stated that the youth programme developed by GWP Venezuela would continue during 2021.  Learn more about what the youth programme achieved in 2020 in this interview.

Another Argentinean project was presented on 27 May: "Stories towards the governance of the La Plata basin. 50 years of experiences” by María Liliana Aráoz and Pablo José Ramati. This webinar shared personal experiences and stories from some of the leaders that made the governance of Plata Basin possible, an activity that this year celebrates 50 years.

The 5th and final project came from Brazil and was presented on 10 June, led by Prof. Valdir Steinke: “Methodological concepts for the articulation of the cartographic base of the water resources of transboundary hydrographic basins”.

Top photo: "Cosecha de agua de Lluvia", by José Joaquín Rodríguez Araya, GWP South America photo competition 2017.