Cultivating Água Boa

“Where there is water, there is life”


November 2016
Where there is water, there is life...

With this phrase I will like to comment the situation about water theme and law that has been promoted for some months in our country. The initiative is not new, it has been talked about ten initiatives presented to the Congress of the Republic for years and many of them reflect the particular interests of the opposition. If  water is so essential for our lives, the least we can do is to protect its care, preserving it for future generations..


A good regulatory frame clearly establishes the objectives from short to long term, the rights and obligations of all the actors; it must create incentives for the good use, care and preservation and penalize its exhaustion and contamination. If this has a cost is something Guatemalans must pay. A good law is necessary but is not enough if it does not come accompanied by good social environmental practices, starting on the base that: if there is not social development, very difficultly will be environmental care. It is here where I make reference to the title of this column, Cultivating Boa Water, in Portuguese, that in Spanish means “Cultivating Good Water”.


It is about a social environmental project well developed and promoted by Itaipú Binacional, the greatest hydroelectric of the world located in Brazil. Cultivating Good Water arouse more than ten years ago as an initiative to take care and recuperate water quality and the basin of the Paraná river, where the hydroelectric is located. Wisely they called it “Cultivating Good Water” because in order to have good water, source of life and happiness, it has to be cultivated, as the soil is cultivated. The project was recognized last year by United Nations as the best practice in water care for life. Standing up for being a program that uses water as a vertebral column, the hydrographic basin as the basic management with the objective of protecting natural resources and eradicating poverty. It as an integral systemic system, but must of all inclusive, since all relevant actors participate and this way achieve an institutional chain, hooks population and civil society, looking for sustainable development opportunities. The results are amazing and have become a model of exportation from Brazil.

The amazing part is that this project already exists in Guatemala, and it began under the leadership of ex vice-minister of Sustainable Development Ivanova Ancehta and by means of a cooperation agreement between Brazil and Guatemala´s Governments. The project is being implemented with two pilot project in Guatemala; one in Santa Rosa and the other in Alta Verapaz with very good results. We need a good water law that promotes the best social-environmental practices at an international level, it is here were Cultivating Good water becomes a worthy and motivating example to