Water Resources in Latin America & the Caribbean
Water management issues in the Latin America and the Caribbean region have gained more visibility and therefore there is a growing concern and awareness of the critical situation of water resources throughout the entire region.
Latin America and the Caribbean is a region with a wide range of climatic zones and therefore it also shows a great variety of hydroecological regions.
The principal problems that affect water management in the region are a lack of strong water policies, the absence of legal frameworks and a centralized and fragmented water governance administration. In addition, the social participation in water management needs to be strengthened.
Floods and droughts are common and growing problems in the region causing every year high losses in human life, natural and economic resources.
Another big problem affecting human and environmental health is the increasing water resources pollution in the urban areas and its peripheral zones.
There’s the need to work more closely and effectively with the water government offices to strengthen their capacity for an effective implementation of national strategies for integrated water resources management plans with the participation of local communities and the civil society. It is also necessary to address all the water resources management issues with a multidisciplinary approach and with higher priority within the governmental development plans.
Water resources related activities in Latin America and the Caribbean
Throughout the Latin America and the Caribbean region UNEP-ROLAC is promoting and supporting the countries of the region with the adoption and implementation of integrated water resources management practices with the participation of the government entities in charge of water issues, NGOs and all the sectors of the society.
UNEP-ROLAC collaborates in the implementation of its water resources related activities with regional partners like IUCN, the Global Water Partnership, the Central American Commission on Environment and Development, the Andean Community the Organization of Caribbean States, the Ministry of Environment of Spain and the Organization of American States.
The activities promoted and supported for the LAC region are focused mainly on:
- Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ministries of Environment and water management related institutions as well as the technical skills of their officers for an effective implementation of the water resources management plans.
- Collaborating with the governments for the implementation of an updated administrative and legal frame for the effective regulation and management of water resources.
- Supporting the organization of sub-regional and/or national workshops for the elaboration of national plans for the integrated management of water resources with the integrated ecosystem approach.
- Assessing the governments and its water related institutions for a more efficient use of their water resources.
- Raising awareness and promote informal environmental education activities trough the region on water management issues and the global water crisis.
- Promote and train on alternatives for water supply like the rain water catchment practices, mainly in rural areas of LAC.