Cundinamarca is at risk of water shortage: CAR reveals the outlook for most municipalities

Cundinamarca is at risk of water shortage: CAR reveals the outlook for most municipalities
Cundinamarca is at risk of water shortage: CAR reveals the outlook for most municipalities

Guavio reservoirs, in Cundinamarca, present low levels at their level – credit Mariano Vimos/Colprensa

The environmental challenge facing the Cundiboyacense highland region is an issue that continues to concern the authorities. The above is because around 80% of the country’s population lives in this area, but only 20% of the national water supply is found there.

In fact, Within the analyzes carried out by the Regional Autonomous Corporation (CAR) Cundinamarca, 72% of the municipalities of this department face risks of water shortages. Thus, the CAR is implementing a Four-Year Action Plan (PAC) for the period 2024-2027 in order to take care of the water resource.

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This plan, designed in collaboration with local authorities, productive sectors and the community, focuses on four strategic lines to address the management of natural resources in the 98 municipalities of Cundinamarca, 6 of Boyacá and the rural areas of Bogotá.

72% of the municipalities in Cundinamarca are at risk of running out of water – CAR credit

The PAC prioritizes water management as a structural axis for the protection of biodiversity. The main problem with the shortage is that surface water sources have deteriorated, that is, water that accumulates on the ground such as rivers, lakes, ponds or dams.

This deterioration is the result of the demand for water, which is calculated at 46% for livestock activities (livestock and raising animals for food), 44% for agricultural activities (crops) and 7.7% for domestic activities (consumption in homes). ).

Most of the fresh water in Cundinamarca is used for livestock farming – credit Ganadería Bovina de Colombia

According to the entity, “it is essential to adopt strategies that guarantee sustainable and equitable access to this vital resource. This will be done through adequate planning of supply and demand, the conservation of water-producing ecosystems and other plans aimed at this.

In addition to water issues, CAR is intensifying its efforts to address air pollution, especially in municipalities with high levels of industrial emissions.

“A good part of the air quality problems in the CAR jurisdiction are represented by the presence of particulate matter (that is, pollution in its liquid and solid states in the air) produced by mobile (motor vehicles) and stationary sources. (factories and production plants)”, details the entity.

Beer factory near the municipality of Sesquilé, in the department of Cundinamarca – credit Carlos Julio Martínez/Reuters

Soacha, Mosquera, Nemocón, Funza, the industrial corridor of the north of La Sabana (Tocancipá, Zipaquirá, Sopó and Cajicá) and also in Ráquira (Boyacá) are those with the highest levels of emissions, both from fixed and mobile sources. This is due to the presence of food, manufacturing, brick and ceramic industries, which are the economic base in these densely populated areas.

For this reason, the CAR is strengthening the 33 air quality monitoring stations to keep pollution levels under control. In this way, measures can be taken, as is done in cities such as Bogotá and Medellín, in case the contaminants exceed the criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

There is very little forest space in Cundinamarca with respect to the extension – CAR credit

In total, forested areas do not occupy more than 14.3% of what corresponds to the jurisdiction of the CAR Cundinamarcawhich is considered a figure lower than the corresponding environmental standards for the ecosystem.

To this It adds that at least 24 species of flora are in the threat categories established by current regulations, that is, almost threatened, critically threatened, endangered and vulnerable.

In the case of fauna, It is estimated that about 16 species of birds, 4 of reptiles, 7 of amphibians and at least 8 of mammals are in some degree of threat.

There are 24 species of vegetation at risk in Cundinamarca – CAR credit

The director of the CAR, Alfred Ballesteros, indicated that to counteract the problem, conservation and management actions for threatened species are being developed, with special attention to strategic areas such as wetlands, protected areas and water-producing areas.

The PAC also addresses soil degradation, with diagnostics to identify erosion and remediation strategies. The above is because 34% of the territory has some type of erosion.

Erosion is a process in which the top layer of soil is lost, which is essential for providing plants with most of the nutrients and water they require to grow. When this fertile layer shifts, land productivity decreases and farmers lose a vital resource for growing food.

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