The Water Funds focus their attention in the forgotten issue of the management policies regarding this resource: the aquatic ecosystem that supports the water services.
The Water Funds use nature for helping to ensure the availability, both in quantity as in quality, of this element in its potable state in the long term for some of the cities with the highest hydric risk in the continent. These collective impact mechanisms —launched in Quito in 2000 and having already 20 programs in Latin America—, counterpose the investment in the protection and restoration of forests, grasslands and wetlands against the conventional response based on works, turning the attention towards the highly forgotten issue in the management policies of this resource: the aquatic ecosystem that supports water services.
In Latin America, 34 million people do not have access to potable water despite the fact that the region is home to one third of the world's fresh water, due to climate change, deforestation, unsustainable agriculture and livestock farming practices and contamination. The goal for 2020, set by the Latin American Alliance of Water Funds —a structure that provides technical and financial assistance for the creation and strengthening of these mechanisms— is to form and consolidate 40 of these initiatives in the region to benefit approximately 80 million people.
"The cycle, understood from the birth of this element to its potabilization, distribution to cities and collection, begins at the source of water itself, but the work not always starts from there”, explains Hugo Contreras, who as Director of Hydric Security of The Nature Conservancy, one of the members of the Alliance, is responsible for designing the water strategy in the Latin American region and leading its implementation in different countries.
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