Institutional Strengthening

Although Water:Shared is new, its component parts have been tried and tested. The fundamental building block of local sustainable watershed management is the creation of a locally designed & managed institutional structure. For example, since 2009 Ecuador’s FORAGUA Regional Water Fund has joined 11 Municipalities (with 6 more in process) in an 80-year trust fund mechanism to support watershed protection across southern Ecuador. Water fees generate ~$400,000 each year, paying to protect 74,000 hectares that supply water to more than 430,000 people. FORAGUA is comprised of 11 municipal governments, and continues to grow. Once these local institutions have been created, the success of the Water:Shared model depends on maintaining long term funding from water users. In Bolivia, half a million water-users have agreed to increase their water bills to pay for upstream conservation. In another example the San Lorenzo Irrigators Association in Quiroz, Peru, are paying $100,000 per year for upstream conservation, including the creation of new protected areas, in return for development projects.