Guatemala City
Urban views of central Guatema Urban views of central Guatemala City as seen from a top floor window in a building. Zone 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala. December 2017. TNC's Guatemala City Water Fund Project © Jason Houston

The Nature Conservancy in Guatemala

First Water Fund legally established in Guatemala

Ensuring water security for Guatemala City is a high priority for society

Guatemala City, Central America’s largest and most productive urban center, is undergoing rapid urban sprawl and economic development that has generated water challenges similar to many other large Latin American cities. Among these challenges are decreasing water quality, over-drafting of groundwater resources and increased vulnerability to extreme water-related events.

Therefore, ensuring water security for Guatemala City is a high priority for society, the country’s and region’s economy, as well as its environmental sustainability. For this reason, in 2012 the Latin American Water Funds Partnership (FEMSA Foundation, Inter-American Development Bank, Global Environment Facility and The Nature Conservancy) joined forces with public, private, civil society and academic organizations in Guatemala to start the process of establishing a Water Fund for the Guatemala City metropolitan region, which would aim to ensure the protection of surface and groundwater resources in the metropolitan region.

The Partnership’s aim is to provide technical and financial assistance for the creation and strengthening of Water Funds in the region. From a concept, the Water Fund took shape in collaboration with the strong leadership of organizations including the Central American Beverage Corporation, Cervecería Centroamericana, Cementos Progreso, Coca Cola FEMSA, Grupo Cayala, Corporación Multiinversiones, Pantaleón. Recently the FUNCAGUA has welcomed as partners the Institute for Research on Climate Change, Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza and the Guatemala Chamber of Construction. On March 8, 2017, six years after the first meeting on this subject in Guatemala, the Water Fund was officially established. This legal recognition will allow the FUNCAGUA to build alliances within the private and public sector to reach its ambitious long-term objectives.

"With the signing of this agreement, the FUNCAGUA will be able to accelerate and scale up its impacts through public policy and pilot projects in the field, through a science-based approach which maximizes the return on investment," said Juan Carlos Godoy, The Nature Conservancy’s Legal Representative for Guatemala. "This is a huge step forward for all the involved parties and will help ensure water security for Guatemala City's future."

Water Funds contribute to improved water security through four key pillars: conducting scientific studies that provide actionable insights, by influencing decision making, through support and promotion of natural infrastructure projects and by convening stakeholders to build consensus and drive collaboration.

To learn more about the FUNCAGUA, please visit the Latin America Water Funds Partnership website – http://waterfunds.org/en/