Press and News SERNA-MIAmbiente and the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT present progress on the new implementation phase of Agua de Honduras

Last Monday the social event and presentation of progress of the implementation of Agua de Honduras was held. This platform is an innovation initiative that offers reliable information on the water resources of Honduras.

The Secretariat of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines (SERNA - MIAMBIENTE) and the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT presented the implementation progress of Agua de Honduras.

Agua de Honduras is an innovative initiative that provides reliable information on water resources in a fast and free way. This platform combines scientific methods, digital technology and public information on hydrographic delimitations, climate, soils, vegetation cover and vegetation loss detections, water demand and quality, floods and hydrology to facilitate decision-making on water resource management in micro-basins, sub-basins and watersheds in the country.

The objective of this event, which was attended by the Minister of Environment, Lucky Medina and Deputy Minister Jorge Salaverri, was to socialize and publicize the progress of the current phase of implementation of the platform with institutions and different stakeholders involved in the management, management and planning of water resources in Honduras.

"Agua de Honduras is a valuable tool. We have used it in planning meetings. Right now there are two important government programs being developed that are under the Secretariat, one is the reforestation and watershed restoration program, with a forest restoration goal of 166,000 hectares for this year. And the ENEE's loss recovery program, which calls for the management of what happens in the dam and the basins that maintain the water, the main input for the generation of energy. We applaud the fact that platforms such as Agua de Honduras allow access to public information and that, in addition, it is transparent information," said Minister Lucky Medina.


Strengthening of local capacities in the new phase

After four years of offering free information on water resources in the country and through new support from USAID/Honduras, the third phase of the Honduras Water platform, which began in July 2021 and will run until 2023, aims to strengthen local capacities for ownership of the platform and improve planning and management of water resources in the areas implemented.

"In this phase we seek to increase the number of local and national stakeholders using the water planning tools and information contained in the platform. We will also be in a continuous improvement of Agua de Honduras based on feedback from local users, so their active participation will be key," said Jefferson Valencia, coordinator of the initiative on behalf of the Alliance.

Progress of the third phase

Through this new phase of implementation of the platform, reinforced with new analysis and tools, it has been possible to facilitate water planning in 3,104 micro-watersheds that form 12 major watersheds in the country. The platform now covers 44% of Honduras representing approximately 4.87 million hectares.

Also, 25 local governments have been involved in coordination processes for the characterization of water demands in 69 micro-watersheds, through commonwealths, cooperation agencies and directly with municipalities. To date, 12 micro-watersheds are in the process of characterizing water demands.
Five memorandums of understanding are also being reviewed and signed with key stakeholders in the country: Municipality of Santa Rosa de Copán, Tri-national Commission of the Trifinio Plan, Alliance for Water Security of San Pedro Sula (ASHSPS), Environmental Management Unit of San Pedro Sula and with the PROCAMBIO II project (GIZ), which seek to coordinate actions and provide the necessary support for capacity building and intervention in micro-watersheds applying the platform's water planning tools.

Among the advances is also the design and implementation of the diploma course "Governance and Water Planning in Microbasins", in coordination with the National University of Forestry Sciences (UNACIFOR) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which will be offered in the last quarter of this year.

Improvements have also been made to the platform, new modules have been developed such as flood detections, Terra-i detections that allow the identification of sites where there is a probability of loss or changes in coverage, and the characterization of micro-watersheds module, among others. Likewise, needs have been identified such as the provision of equipment for the measurement of water quality parameters in community intake works, among other advances.

Agua de Honduras is an initiative financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE) and, for the generation of the climate change scenarios, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The event of socialization and presentation of progress was held at the Interactive Center, SERNA - MIAMBIENTE and was transmitted virtually with massive participation.