More resilient and sustainable urban water systems

More resilient and sustainable urban water systems

Geographic scope: National

Title: Urban Waters in the Marquense Valley: Integrated and sustainable protection and management of the upper Naranjo River basin that supplies the urban seats with potable water in the municipalities of San Pedro Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, San Antonio Sacatepéquez, San Cristóbal Cucho and Esquipulas Palo Gordo in San Marcos Department

Countries involved: Guatemala

Objective: The project helps women, men, girls, boys, and future generations in the urban areas of San Pedro, San Marcos, San Antonio, San Cristóbal and Esquipulas Palo Gordo have sufficient, healthy, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use; in a financially, institutionally and environmentally sustainable way through measures for better resilience to climate change in urban water and drainage systems.


  • More resilient water and drainage systems: that meet services required by the urban population according to water master plans and watershed management plans, and anticipate climate and demographic changes; and that incorporate reforestation and protection measures in water recharge zones and springs to maintain flows; and functional payment for environmental services mechanisms to finance these measures; and that also incorporate measures to promote rainwater filtration and harvesting to prevent flooding and recharge groundwater.
  • Better managed and sustainable water and drainage systems: in which the service is provided with real rates that cover all expenses; with a better operational capacity and with innovative and technified administration and control systems; with institutionalised measures for accountability, transparency and rapid response to leaks, illegal taking and pollution sources; and the promotion of a better culture of payment and water saving.
  • Better quality water: assured through better monitoring of quality; better chlorination; better social controls; and environmental sanitation measures.

Lead entity: Municipal Government of San Pedro Sacatepéquez

Grant recipient entity: HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

With the proposed actions of the project, water systems are expected to be resilient to climate change, reversing critical trends. The upper part of the basin is better managed, fostering the reforestation, protection and conservation of water recharge areas; and rainwater harvesting and infiltration is favoured to recharge groundwater. In addition, the wasting of water is reduced, water saving is promoting, rapid response to leaks, illegal taking and excessive use is established, and more realistic volumetric rates, preferably pre-paid, are set. Thus, the water balance is re-established.

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