Community Driven Watershed Management for Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua


Environmental degradation and climate change are reducing the capacity of the Dipilto River watershed to provide ecosystem services (water, forest) to the population, increasing their vulnerability and deepening poverty. The program will strengthen dialogue among stakeholders, empower communities and provide economic incentives for restoring the hydrologic and environmental equilibrium of the watershed, increasing the resilience of its 27 thousand inhabitants.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Nicaragua
Water
Environment
Adaptation to the effects of climate change
Disaster Risk Reduction – Prevention
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
01.01.2016 - 30.06.2020
CHF 8'000'000
Background

Nicaragua is one of the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change and climatic variability. In recent years, extreme and irregular rainfalls as well as more prolonged and extensive droughts are aggravating the pre-existing conditions of environmental degradation in the watersheds and increasing the vulnerability of the population to climate change (CC). Nicaragua is deemed a middle-income country; nevertheless, extreme poverty is still predominant in the rural areas. The government of Nicaragua has prioritized some watersheds of national interest, including the watershed of the Dipilto River, partially located in the dry corridor, because it provides water to the city of Ocotal (40 thousand people). The volume of water and its quality have dropped drastically in the last 15 years. Some 6 thousand families (27 thousand persons) live in the watershed; women head 35% of these families and women are the owners of 39% of the farms in the watershed.

Objectives

Increased resilience of the ecosystems, the individuals, the families and the urban and rural communities, in the Dipilito River watershed, in the face of natural hazards and climate change effects.

Target groups

Direct: 27 thousand persons:

  • Rural: 900 families (6,000 persons); 35% headed by women.
  • Urban: 5,100 families (21,000 persons, 52% women) in the cities of Ocotal and Dipilto.

Indirect: 50 thousand persons (53% women) (total population of the municipalities of Dipilto and Ocotal) who will benefit from greater availability of water, and in general with the improvement of environmental conditions and more ecosystem services in the watershed.

Medium-term outcomes
  1. Greater availability of water for the urban and rural population that lives in the Dipilto River watershed, through effective watershed management using an approach of shared responsibility among public, private and community stakeholders.
  2. Farmers and the urban target population adopt CCA practices and technologies that improve the ecosystem services of the watershed (more forest, better soil, more water) and make them more resilient in the face of CC and climate variability.
Results

Expected results:  

  1. Greater knowledge and strengthened technical, negotiating, lobbying, and management capacities of the public-private stakeholders organized in the Watershed Committee.
  2. Improved capacity and more adequate use of the water supply system.
  3. Municipalities in the Dipilto River watershed with capacities to implement the priority actions identified in Municipal Risk Management Plans and CC adaptation plans.
  4. Individuals, families and rural and urban communities actively involved in the management and implementation of the CAA agenda of their watershed, with knowledge about CC-DRR, with values and skills for protecting forests, soil, water, and biodiversity.
  5. Male and female producers and rural and urban organizations adequately manage ecosystems and diversify their productive practices, as a result of the implementation of incentive and environmental compensation mechanisms in the framework of the agenda for climate change adaptation and integral watershed management.


Results from previous phases:  

  • The watershed intervention area defined by the government of Nicaragua on the basis of environmental criteria.
  • A watershed diagnosis prepared in a participatory manner with the government.
  • The implementation mechanism and intervention strategy defined.
  • CCA practices implemented in similar projects systematized.
  • To obtain baseline data, a system was installed for monitoring climate variables, water flow volumes, and sediment suspension in the Dipilto River, as well as in the Jícaro and Mosonte Rivers, located in neighbouring watersheds, with a view to probable replication in phase 2 of the program. Pluviometric stations and limnimeters were installed and systematic analysis undertaken of physical and chemical water qualities.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East

Implementing partner
Central State Authority
Multiple Local Partners

Other partners

Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER); National Water Authority (ANA); Nicaraguan Water and Sewerage Corporation (ENACAL); and the Social Emergency Fund (Nuevo FISE).

Municipal Governments of Ocotal and Dipilto.

Coordination with other projects and actors

PAGRICC, GEF/UNDP

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   8'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   5'220'261
Project phases Phase 99 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2024   (Planned) Phase 1 01.01.2016 - 30.06.2020   (Current phase)