In rural Honduras, EcoLogic works with an Association of Water Committees (AJAASSPIB) to develop and implement practical plans to care for watersheds. Using a holistic approach that goes beyond pipes and infrastructure, we are taking into account the role of the ecosystem—the health of the land directly impacts its ability to drain and collect water. This includes reforesting degraded areas crucial for reducing erosion and regulating water flow.
With that in mind, EcoLogic has established an environmental fund with six AJAASSPIB member-communities to allocate a percentage of water user fees directly toward watershed protection. This ensures that community members are financing water source protection and restoration as opposed to only water infrastructure such as pipes, tanks, and faucets.
Through a series of trainings and workshops, EcoLogic has been able to establish this fund. We found the way to keep water fees down in the long-run is to create a fund that is preventative in nature – an environmental fund – which would decrease sediment and contaminants in the water and limit water shortages. These preventative measures would result in less filtration costs, less repairs due to wear and tear on pipes and faucets, and less water shortages resulting in a need to purchase expensive bottled water.
Through the community’s involvement and commitment, we are showing the world a model for protecting and restoring rural water sources in an effective, sustainable, community-led manner.
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