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El Salvador

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El Salvador

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Area: 5888268 km2
Countries:
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Cities:
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
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Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES The water resources of El Salvador are estimated at 17.8km3, of which 11.6km3 are from surface water. 84 per cent of this runoff occurs during the rainy season and 16 per cent during the dry season. El Salvador is the only Central American country whose territory drains entirely into the Pacific Ocean. The country has about 360 rivers, which together form 10 hydrographic regions. There are a few surface water contributions from Honduras and Guatemala, estimated at 7.5km3 per year. In this regard, only the Paz River (which forms the boundary with Guatemala) has a use agreement with bordering countries. The groundwater recharge through infiltration is estimated at 6.15km3. From this volume 5.97km3 are considered passing base flow recharge surface water courses and, therefore, with the possibility of extraction; the remainder represents direct discharge of coastal aquifers to the sea. The best aquifers are located in the coastal zone and in the valleys of the central plateau. There are four lakes in El Salvador (Llopango, 70.1km2; Guija, 44.1km2, Coatepeque, 24.8km2; and Olomega, 24.2km2), and four hydroelectric dams: (Reservoir 5 de Novembre, 20km2; Cerron Grande Reservoir, 135km2; Reservoir 15 de Septiembre, 35km2; and Guajoyo). The total installed capacity of power generation is 943.4MW, of which 388MW (41 per cent) are generated by four hydroelectric plants. The country's hydroelectric potential is estimated at 1,889MW, accounting for 1,409MW to the Rio Lempa, which currently uses only 21 per cent of the total it could use. Hydro generation in 1997 was 2,623GWh (24 per cent less than the year before as a result of damage to power systems because of weather) and total energy demand is 3,636 GWh. 1.1.2.WATER USE The latest data on total annual water extraction are from 1992, with a value of 729 million m3, with the aquifers of the Lempa River basin being the leading suppliers. With regard to drinking water extraction, the information available is from 1997: 262.3 million m3 (the value in 1992 was 246 million m3). In fact, 158.9 million m3 (61 per cent) were extracted from the aquifer in the San Salvador metropolitan area which already has excessive levels of exploitation. Drinking water coverage in 1997 was 53 per cent of the total population. That same year global sanitation coverage was 66 per cent (59 per cent connected to the sewerage system and 22 per cent of latrines in urban areas and 51 per cent of latrines in rural areas).

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH The pressure on El Salvador's natural resources is very high, which is causing a great decrease of forest area (6.1 per cent of its coverage in 1992 and 2 per cent in 1997), and causing changes in the regulatory capacity of the hydrological cycle. Erosion (6.6mm/year in 75 per cent of the country) has significantly increased sediment transport in rivers; for example, the Lempa River carries an estimated 10 to 25 million tons per year. Furthermore, the fact that wastewater sewer systems do not receive any treatment before being discharged to the rivers has degraded more than 90 per cent of the rivers, exceeding the threshold levels of biochemical oxygen demand. This situation is increased in the rivers Acelhuate, Suquiapa, Sucio and Quezalapa, affecting the Cerrón Grande reservoir as well as other coastal ecosystems.

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Organizations in El Salvador


The Water Resilience Coalition, founded in 2020, is an industry-driven, CEO-led coalition of the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world's freshwater resources ... Learn More

Projects in El Salvador


Keurig Green Mountain funds this program, called "Blue Harvest," to restore and manage water resources in coffee-producing areas of Central America. Blue Harvest is a three-year program coordinated by Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The premise of this program is that, ... Learn More

Starbucks and Conservation International began an assessment of the water component of the Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices program in 2008, focused on 2 stages in the coffee value chain: cultivating, growing and harvesting coffee using methods that avoid ... Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

This Working Paper proposes a method whereby any decision-maker can calculate the cost required to deliver sustainable water management to a geography. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Inform and strengthen your company’s water management strategies and allow your investors to evaluate current water management activities against detailed definitions of leading practice. Learn More

Developers: Ceres

In this Nature feature, Johan Rockstrom and co-authors argue that identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change. Learn More

Nature-based solution (NBS) can improve degraded ecosystems, help sequester carbon, and manage the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events. Businesses are beginning to recognize the value of NBS for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Plan, Prepare and Respond- Breakdown for different industries on how to operate safely. Cleaning and disinfecting, Worker Safety, Support Resources, Mitigation Strategy Learn More

This report presents analysis of the response data from a sample of 783 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies. The report is aimed at companies and investors seeking to understand how they can play their part in delivering a ... Learn More

The Toolbox connects your business to the latest tools, guidance, case studies, datasets, and more most relevant to you based on your circumstances and interests. It features more than 250+ resources from dozens of organizations and is updated every week. Learn More

Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

Checklist for restoring water quality in buildings left unused for a long duration. Learn More

Developers: EPA Office of Wastewater Management

CDC/EPA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Includes Printable Materials Learn More

This report makes the case for private sector investment in green infrastructure as part of a broader water stewardship approach. Learn More

Developers: BHP

Includes Immediate steps, ongoing health measures that can be taken, and responsible business practice Learn More

Based on the major combat guidelines set by the São Paulo State Government, Sabesp is fully engaged to endure COVID-19 pandemic within its operation area, which means 374 municipalities located throughout São Paulo state and home to about 28 million ... Learn More

Developers: Sabesp

Best practices- Resources- Webinars on WASH/COVID-19 topics. Learn More

Urban stormwater is becoming an increasingly important alternative water supply in California. However, current economic analyses do not adequately evaluate co-benefits provided by different stormwater investments. As a result, urban stormwater capture is undervalued. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard can be used to provide comparable quantification and robust analytics, helping corporations, governments, and researchers manage water resources and achieve greater water sustainability. Learn More

This guide outlines why and how investors engage on agricultural supply chain water risk. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Committee designed this document to guide the food industry and advise its sponsoring agencies in the implementation of HACCP systems. Learn More

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

To provide guidance and a global framework for the design, verification and scaling up of Nature-based Solutions. The Standard includes globally consistent Criteria and Indicators, which are supported by the Principles for Nature-based Solutions, to measure the strength of interventions. Learn More

Developers: International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

With special attention to resources for utilities, this page lists relevant guidance around water and COVID-19. Learn More

Developers: American Water Works Association

This page seeks to help water sector professionals keep informed on the attributions of the COVID-19 virus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health, in general. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

This article presents the state of knowledge with regard to human health and well-being from contact with nature. Learn More

The United Nations World Water Development Report for 2018. Learn More

With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their core operations. This guide is meant as a stepping point to begin reopening with safety as a ... Learn More

During an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current outbreak of COVID-19, small business owners must prepare for disruption in their business as well as prepare to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. These steps are recommended ... Learn More

This report shows how putting nature to work can help deliver infrastructure services with greater impact and lower cost, all the while reducing risks from disaster, boosting water security and enhancing climate resilience. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

This report seeks to provide an overview of the three leading water tools available for corporate water risk assessment. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Colorado River Basin states face significant water challenges, including the overallocation of water, long-term drought, and climate change. This report, commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, explores the potential for corporate water stewardship to help solve these challenges. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The City of Austin, Texas is facing an increasingly uncertain water future, from decreasing water supplies and more intense droughts to periodic flooding and water quality impairments. Austin is addressing these challenges head on, from investments in water efficiency and ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Compass Business Tools inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It allows you to explore commonly used business tools that may be useful when assessing your organization’s impact on the SDGs. Learn More

This report provides findings on good practices of AWS Standard implementation. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

In response to the challenge of quantifying the business benefits, WaterAid, Diageo, GAP Inc., and Unilever have worked with PwC and ODI to develop a practical, step-by-step guide. The guide will help companies understand the business value of their WASH ... Learn More

Developers: WaterAid

The Forest Stewardship Council created the Principles of Forest Stewardship as a worldwide standard to promote environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Learn More

The AWS Standard is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. Learn More

Developers: Alliance for Water Stewardship

This paper provides examples of how to make progress in service delivery in and beyond the workplace. With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their ... Learn More

This special Academy session covered steps businesses can take to respect and support the rights and lives of women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

This tool is an interactive map linking nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation outcomes based on a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

This report explores the possibilities of scaling a circular economy, given the reality of the global economy and the complexity of multi-tier supply chains. Learn More

Developers: World Economic Forum

ILO Sectoral Policies and Governance and Tripartism Departments present four self-training modules, which adapt existing ILO training tools on OSH to provide governments, workers and employers with the necessary skills to implement the general principles contained in relevant ILO instruments. ... Learn More

Companies are increasingly setting and pursing ‘water balance targets’ as part of their water stewardship strategies. The seeming simplicity of balance goals can be attractive – “we will restore a volume of water equal to the amount our business consumes.” ... Learn More

Developers: WWF

This report calls for an integrated approach that brings together governments, water users, and the society at large including the private sector, NGOs, and academia to design smart, adaptable and sustainable solutions for water infrastructure impacted by climate change. Learn More

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water-related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are an essential part of preventing and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Learn More

CTCN; UNEP Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Water Witness International; WaterAid; WBCSD Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UNEP Learn More

IPIECA Learn More

Ceres Learn More

Ecolab Learn More

PRI; WWF Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Pegasys; Water Witness International; WWF Learn More

The World Bank Learn More

UNEP-DHI Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UN Water Learn More

OECD Learn More

UNICEF; WHO Learn More

River Threat Netwrok Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; WWF Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

Alliance for Water Stewardship Learn More

WaterAid Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

McKinsey Learn More

Toilet Board Coalition Learn More

Conservation International Learn More

UNEP Learn More

U.S. General Services Administration Learn More

National Drought Mitigation Center Learn More

USGS Learn More

UN Water Learn More

AT&T; EDF; Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) Learn More

OECD Learn More

SAI Platform Learn More

Lillian Holmes
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