Restoration of the riparian vegetation of Paso Severino's reservoir
Santa Lucia, Uruguay
Context and objectives
The Santa Lucía River basin supplies half the population of Uruguay with water. In response to the impact of the recent intensification of productive activities that compromise water quality for downstream communities, the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment developed a “Plan for the Protection of Environmental Quality and Availability of Drinking Water Sources” including actions for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity in the basin, in particular native forest.
In this context, the Ministry is implementing a project for the restoration of the riparian vegetation in Paso Severino’s artificial reservoir, the largest drinking water reservoir in the basin (about 2.000 hectares). Coordinated between the government and local community, this project aims to restore riparian forest and other ecosystems as a way of enhancing their water quality regulation function, to strengthen ties with the local community and to allow for systematization of lessons learned to facilitate new initiatives for restoration of ecosystems and protection of biodiversity at the national level, in accordance with guidelines of the CBD.
Specifically, this project aims to enhance the regulation function of the vegetation for the reduction of the nutrient and chemical runoff to the reservoir from adjacent productive lands (dairy farms, livestock and agriculture), by means of a livestock and cropland exclusion zone surrounding the reservoir as well as activities to restore tree cover through planting and management of natural successions.
This project is carried out by the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment of Uruguay