Institute for Water Resources

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Posted 10/4/2016

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ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  This summer a team from the USACE’s Institute for Water Resources (IWR) comprised of Drs. William Logan, Jennifer Olszewski, and Guillermo Mendoza, led a training workshop in the Dominican Republic to help prepare a project management plan (PMP) using a Shared Vision Planning (SVP) process for the city of Santiago de Caballeros. SVP integrates traditional water resources planning processes with structured public participation and collaborative computer modeling. The engagement included CORASAAN (Corporación del Acueducto y Alcantarillado de Santiago, the city's water utility company), INDRHI (Instituto Nacional de Recursos Hidráulicos, the national water resources institute), the Engineering Department of the Catholic University of Madre Maestra, as well as stakeholders from irrigation districts and the Ministry of the Environment. Representatives from the hydropower industry were not present at this meeting but plans for their engagement were developed. 

During the workshop, the Dominican PMP teams, with IWR assistance, developed a work plan for the sustainable management of water resources in the Yaque del Norte basin.  The group developed a problem statement, objectives, metrics and a conceptual decision support model as part of the SVP process.  The participants listed and prioritized the most important problems facing the upper, middle, and lower sub-basins within the Yaque del Norte basin.  Two examples of the problems they brought up include raw wastewater flowing into streams feeding irrigation channels, and irrigation channels with severe sedimentation.  In fact, the team members had an opportunity to see some of the issues in person during a site visit to a location where an irrigation channel is experiencing severe sedimentation. 

This work plan follows an ambitious one year timeline for carrying out the SVP process in coordination with other donor actions.  Such activities include the Inter-American Development Bank project for water delivery efficiencies and a USAID project for real time monitoring in the context of climate change.  Within the scope of the sustainable management of the Yaque del Norte basin, the team developed a number of alternative actions.  One important item was to revise current reservoir operations which would significantly improve water supply resilience for municipal, flood management, irrigation, and hydropower interests. In addition, Dr. Guillermo Mendoza presented the Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) approach to planning under deep uncertainty. 

The regional work plan also includes a proposal for an introductory workshop to be held two months after the PMP training workshop.  This will include the core PMP members, stakeholders, and decision-makers. 

“This workshop is only the most recent of many collaborations of INDRHI and IWR through our mutual connections to UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme,” said Dr. Logan. For his part, the director of INDRHI committed to attend the upcoming workshop and recommended that other crucial leaders also be invited in order to show support and to help push the effort forward. 

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