Ecuador

Using Investment Strategies to Protect Water

Ecuador’s capital city of Quito gets 100% of its drinkable water from Andean creeks and rivers. Around 1.5 million people, local industries and irrigation fields use more than 4.5 billion gallons per month of water taken directly from the mountains. That’s enough to fill almost 15,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. All this water comes from Condor Bioreserve and its protection represents one of Ecuador’s biggest conservation challenges.

In 2000, the Conservancy teamed up with the U.S. Agency for International Development and local Ecuadorian partners to create a Quito-based water conservation fund. The fund, also known as FONAG by its Spanish acronym, is a payment that the people of Quito make with the purpose of financing projects that will conserve their water source. The fund’s main goal is to achieve sufficient water quantity and quality to meet the needs of the people of Quito, as well as to provide long-term protection of water sources in the Condor Bioreserve.

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