Operational monitoring and warning system for water resource quantity and quality

Operational monitoring and warning system for water resource quantity and quality

Geographic scope: National

Title: Technology and modelling for integrated water management as adaptations to climate change for the main source of potable water in Uruguay

Countries involved: Uruguay

Objective: The project aims to develop a second-generation Action plan for the protection of the environment of the Santa Lucia River Basin. The project incorporates an Operational Warning System for quantity and quality and management of water resources and modelling tools in DINAGUA that will support the implementation of the Plan. Watershed governance is strengthened from a rights perspective. Two gender-sensitive pilot projects with potential for replicability and scalability will be carried out.


  • The Ministry of Housing, Territorial Management and Environment adopts the operating system for early warning in quantity and quality and for water resources management to support decision-making in the Santa Lucia River Basin;
  • Technical support is given to the definition of public policies, in particular the second-generation Action Plan;
  • The Santa Lucia River Basin strengthens its governance with a Watershed Commission wherein its actors, women and men, exercise their participation rights and co-construct the Watershed Plan and its implementation;
  • The Santa Lucia River Basin is strengthened in its capacity for adaptation and resilience in the provision of ecosystem services for its inhabitants and the territories linked by potable water services;
  • South American cities are enriched with information on water management and urban resilience for replication.

Lead entity: Dirección Nacional de Aguas (DINAGUA) (National Water Directorate - DINAGUA)

Grant recipient entity: Corporación Nacional para el Desarrollo (CND) (National Development Corporation - CND)

Variations in the rainfall regime, accentuated by climate change and land use intensification, have repeatedly compromised the potable water supply in localities of the basin and in Montevideo and its Metropolitan Area. On the one hand, the Santa Lucia River is showing an increasing degree of eutrophication. There are several reports that confirm the existence of high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in water courses and reservoirs in its basin. The growing problem of potentially toxic cyanobacterial blooms in the body of water causes potable water to smell and taste bad, increasing the costs and difficulties of treating water to purify it and supply the metropolitan area. On the other hand, extreme flood events generate problems in water treatment plants. Two of these are out of operation, others are affected their water intakes suffer from obstructions by sand or branches.

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