The Development of a Coastal Water Quality Management Strategy in Ecuador

by Mariano Montano, Escuela Superior Politecnica de la, Costa,
Gordon Foer, Escuela Superior Politecnica de la, Costa,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


The quality of coastal waters is deteriorating in virtually every country of the world. Concerned groups and individuals in countries with scarce financial, technical and political resources need to find creative ways to strengthen institutional capabilities and commitment to deal with water quality issues. All too often, research efforts are duplicated in various institutions using different techniques and the results are often not widely shared. The formation of a Water Quality Working Group is a new approach in Ecuador to coordinate action around water issues. It is comprised of a group of Ecuadorian technicians trained in different areas of chemistry and engineering, and employed by various institutions with interests and responsibilities related to water quality. The Group has met regularly for the past four years as part of the Water Quality Management Program of the Ecuador Coastal Resource Management Project. The group has cooperated to understand the current quality of coastal waters and to establish guidelines for its use and management. In the beginning, intercalibrations of equipment and techniques were carried out to assure reliable results. The next stage was oriented to sampling and analysis of waters in critical areas, which permitted the documentation of baseline data. Currently, the group is formulating guidelines for water use and management as well as preparing proposals for additional funding. This interinstitutional and multidisciplinary method for developing an agenda and institutional capabilities related to water quality management is a new procedure for Ecuador and can be replicated in other countries.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Quality control | Water management | Coastal management | Sea water | Developing countries | Water resources | Water pollution | Ecuador | South America

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