Summit on water governance in Colombia prioritised 4 lines of action

100 expert professionals from Corporaciones Autónomas Regionales (CAR) all over Colombia gathered on November 23 and 24 in Barranquilla to discuss the future of water governance in Colombia.

Experts from InspirAgua (Blue Deal), the CAR, SEI, Esri, IDEAM and the Ministry of the Environment, among others, met to share the progress of the work in water governance. The Asociación Corporaciones Autónomas Regionales (ASOCARS) and Blue Deal Programme InspirAgua organised the event together with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Environmental Systems Research Institute Colombia (ESRI) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE). The event was hosted by Corporación Autónoma Regional del Atlantico (CRA).

Strengthened partnerships and knowledge networks

This unique gathering of water experts throughout Colombia represents an important step towards the 2030 Blue Deal Colombia goals of strengthened partnerships and knowledge networks in the country. Four lines of action were formulated. Wastewater (with an active program in Caldas, Valle del Cauca and Huila), Groundwater; permits, control and monitoring of discharges; and planning (water boundary, decision-making and modeling tools) were prioritized to be further elaborated in 2024.

Important guests

The event was attended by 31 of the 33 environmental authorities CAR, Fabián Caicedo, director of water resources at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, experts of the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), National Planning Department (DNP), the Ministry of Interior, Justice and Decentralization of the Government of Honduras, the Antioquia Science and Technology Center -CTA and the University of Antioquia.

High-quality knowledge

Ellen Bollen, director of Blue Deal InspirAgua in Colombia, pointed out that: “There is a lot of high-quality knowledge in Colombia and in the CARs. InspirAgua wants to connect, share, and contribute through an exchange programme for all CARs through ASOCARS. Meeting up and sharing our practices are essential for our ability to tackle big challenges in water management now and in the future. We identified wants and needs for knowledge exchange to further elaborate and I’m proud of InspirAgua and its partners who made it come together.”

Regional lessons from 30 years of existence

During the last 30 years, the CARs have worked on water management in 124 hydrographic basins, covering 28.6 million hectares, and 87 POMCAS approved by 2023 at the national level are reported. “These spaces for dialogue around water governance are essential to identify regional lessons learned from work carried out by the CARs during the 30 years of existence of the SINA, in search of contributing to the National Policy for Integral Management of Water Resources, to the implementation of the National Development Plan, and the future Four-Year Action Plans of the CARs,” said Ramón Leal Leal, director of Asocars.