Three ICIWaRM scientists traveled to the Dominican Republic on 6-11 October 2019 to scope out a potential collaborative water management project in the Yaque del Norte River basin. A team of Jaime Graulau of the US Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District’s Interagency Modeling Center and Will Logan and Jennifer Olszewski of the Institute for Water Resources spent most of the week with a wide variety of actors in the basin. These ranged from the Presidential Commission for the Planning and Management of the Yaque del Norte Basin (CRYN) to national water agencies such as the National Institute for Water Resources (INDRHI) to non-governmental organizations such as Fundación REDDOM, Plan Sierra and Plan Yaque to irrigation and water supply users’ groups.
The trip was a scoping mission for a USAID-funded project to help contribute to better planning in the basin, and would begin in the Guayubin River sub-basin. Stakeholders in the upper part of the Guayubin face basic drinking water-supply challenges, with irregular deliveries from regional river intakes. In the middle basin, a soft-drink bottler has difficulty ensuring sustainable water supplies for their industry. And rice and banana growers in the lower basin suffer from both floods and droughts.
The team plans to return in early 2020 to begin applying systems modeling in conjunction with stakeholder collaboration and planning approaches with CRYN and user groups in the basin. ICIWaRM has a decade-long relationship with INDRHI and its UNESCO-affiliated Center for Sustainable Management of Water Resources in the Caribbean Island States (CEHICA).