The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is committed to the care and conservation of the environment, and is part of the Ocosito river Basin Technical Committee, and gave support to the installation of a Hydrometric Station to measure the flow of the Ocosito River.
The Technical Committee took a tour to verify progress in flow measurement, user coordination, and reforestation. The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is member of these committee since 2016.
The Ocosito River has the first hydrometric station in the basin. This is a device with sensors that automatically records the flow of the river, which allows knowing if the flow is low or very high, allowing communities in the lower part to be alerted to the risk of flooding.
Technical Committee promotes conservation of the Ocosito river basin
The members of the Ocosito Technical Committee; included the Guatemalan Sugar Industry have promoted a program for the restoration and conservation of the basin through reforestation for the creation of gallery forests, among other modalities, which contribute to forest restoration. Since 2016, communities, local organizations, companies such as El Pilar, Magdalena, and Palo Gordo sugar mills Agroaceites, Grupo Hame, that have planted more than 102 hectares with native trees to create gallery forests on the riverbanks, mangrove restoration and productive forests, with the support of the National Institute of Forests -INAB-, Rainforest Alliance and the Private Institute for Research on Climate Change -ICC-.
Through the Technical Committee, the coordination of water users has been achieved, something that historically had not existed and that has made it possible to optimize the use of water in production processes and coordinate with communities. Currently, with the support of the United Nations Development Program -UNDP- and MARN, a management plan for this basin is being developed.
These actions have allowed great advances in water management, which are reflected in the fact that the Ocosito River has achieved its flow to its mouth during the last 5 years, improving conditions with a more rational use.
The technical committee was born in 2016 out of the need to organize and make rational use of water. In 2021, promoted by the Vice Ministry of Water, through Government Agreement 19-2021, it was institutionalized as a more comprehensive technical organization for the recovery and conservation of the Ocosito basin.
The conservation of the basin faces several challenges, such as:
- The contamination of the hydric resource; for example, the garbage in the rivers.
- Climate change
- Plans for the proper management and conservation of water and other natural resources
- Work with a comprehensive approach to the conservation of the basin.
Water management is a challenge for Guatemala and for humanity, which requires the integration of the sectors that are part of society.