ICIWaRM is part of a network of UNESCO “Category 2 Centers”, which are affiliated with UNESCO but not legally a component of it. One of ICIWaRM’s closest cooperating center is the Water Centre for Arid and Semi-Arid Zones in Latin America and the Caribbean (CAZALAC), located in La Serena, Chile. The two centers signed a memorandum of understanding in 2006, making CAZALAC one of ICIWaRM’s oldest and closest partners.
On 27 March 2020, CAZALAC conducted its Third Governing Board meeting—the first to be held entirely by videoconference, due to logistical complications caused by the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus. ICIWaRM was represented by its Director, William Logan. The other participants were:
- Mr. Oscar Cristi Marfil, Director General of Water, representing the Government of Chile and Chair of the Governing Board;
- Mr. Miguel Doria, Regional Hydrologist for Latin America and the Caribbean for UNESCO; and
- Mr. Gabriel Mancilla, Executive Director of CAZALAC.
Among the many topics of discussion were CAZALAC’s international collaborations. These included continued support for the development of the Drought Observatory in Peru. Like its counterpart in Chile, the Observatory incorporates the Latin America Drought Atlas, developed by CAZALAC and UNESCO G-WADI with support from ICIWaRM and others. The Drought Atlas itself was finalized in 2018.
In 2019, CAZALAC and ICIWaRM worked together with UNESCO on the creation of two multimedia events and an accompanying book on “Droughts in the Anthropocene“, with case studies from both the U.S. and Chile. The Chilean example showed an application of Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA)—a bottom-up water resources planning framework developed by ICIWaRM, UNESCO, AGWA, Deltares and others—to the Limari River basin in northern Chile. UNESCO and CAZALAC researchers have recently published the results of this study.