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Everything depends on water.
Our economies and the development of our countries depend on adequate water supplies. In Latin America, many industries and irrigation systems depend on ecosystems to capture, retain, filter and provide hundreds of millions of cubic meters of fresh water.
Losing these environmental services, beside the environmental damage, results in more costs for businesses and public services, as well as a lower quality of water for the cities.
Balance between water and development.
Many impoverished people live in watersheds and have few options to get the income to support their families. The families convert habitats into farms and ranches, causing deforestation, poor land use and other environmental problems.
If upstream human populations perform best practices in water management then the quantity and quality of water coming into the cities will improve. This link between rural and urban areas is a key element in achieving long-term sustainability.
Water is life.
In addition to providing these valuable environmental services, watersheds give shelter to a rich biological diversity represented by unique habitats and species.
This is proven.
A huge body of scientific studies tells us that when you lose native vegetation in the watershed, you also lose natural water storage, regulation and cleaning systems.
Work and resources.
Among the most important challenges in Latin America is to achieve coordination among public and private institutions that use and are in charge of water management and of the watersheds.
Another major challenge is the lack of resources that can be used for long-term conservation of watersheds and their investment to generate results that endure over time.