Last Friday, March 17, ICC presented the sixth hydrometric station installed on the south coast of Guatemala. This station, called “San Juan La Selva” is located near the Coyolate´s River mouth, between the municipalities of Sipacate and Nueva Concepción, both in the department of Escuintla.
This station is part of the efforts being made for the sustainable management of the water resource in coordination with the users of the river. The intention is that the information that is generated serves both the business sector, as well as the communities and institutions to take actions in favor of the good management of the river and thus ensure that it reaches the sea in the dry season and act early when there is risk of floods in the rainy season.
It has state-of-the-art technology and high precision, which allows knowing how the river flow changes through radar, which emits electrical pulses that measure the distance between the sensor and the surface of the water. Dr. Alex Guerra, general director of the ICC, indicated that this technology generates data every 15 minutes and transmits it every day by cellular signal, thus increasing knowledge of a river as dynamic as the Coyolate, without the need for the intervention of an observer.
Amy Molina, hydrology researcher at ICC, added that “the station has a sensor that allows us to see how the river level is changing to determine what is happening in real time, and it has solar panels to power the record of information every 15 minutes during the 365 days of the year”.
The installation of this technology was carried out with funding of the French Research Foundation, managed by Action Against Hunger, and the support of banana, sugar and oil palm production companies in the watershed.
The activity was attended by representatives of these companies, communities, and government institutions, who were able to learn about the operation of the station’s instruments as well as observe other river monitoring activities implemented by ICC, which are complemented by this kind of technology to obtain more accurate data. Finally, between 2,500 and 3,000 fingerlings of native fish species were released to increase and enrich fish population in the Coyolate River.