Restoration in riparian zones

Water is one of the most important resources for life. Currently, in many parts of the world there is a shortage of water, due to pollution, degradation and the reduction of existing bodies of water. The causes are multifactorial, but they include: human factors (such as population growth, deforestation, the increase of productive activities, among others) and climate change. 

The Sustainable Development Goals recognize water as a universal right and determine that its availability must be guaranteed for all people. They point out that there must be sustainable management and sanitation for all (SDG 6).  It is recognized that inadequate distribution and drought exacerbate poverty, so it is expected that by 2050, at least 25% of the world population will be affected by chronic shortages.

Given this problem, the AMBIO Cooperative executed since 2015 the project on "Restoration of the Riparian Ecosystem of the Southern Sector in the Basin of Usumacinta-Tabasco", whose work focuses on promoting actions that result in improving the quality of water that has the Usumacinta River and in the recovery of the ecosystem services offered by the riparian forests.

One of the actions developed is the collection of information to make a baseline of water quality conditions in the Usumacinta River, which allows to compare the impact of riparian ecosystem restoration actions on the water quality.


The following aspects have been evaluated: physicochemical, bacteriological, biological, total solids (SST), sedimentary solids (SS), and in one place, the flow is measured. For this purpose, four monitoring sites were established along the southern sector of the Usumacinta basin, in the San Carlos, Concepción, Tutili-Ha and San Ramón rivers of the municipalities of Emiliano Zapata and Tenosique in the state of Tabasco . It has the collaboration of the Global Water Watch Mexico initiative.

The results of three years of work have identified that the Tutili-Ha River (tributary stream of the Usumacinta), presents a considerable amount of fecal coliforms, which makes it a body of water with a high degree of contamination. In only one occasion of monitoring the exceed 600 CFU in 100ml, very dangerous parameters for human contact. There were 23 sites that can be considered as sources of contamination and are directly related to livestock activity (use for paddocks, drinking troughs and corrals for cleaning).

Finally, the studies have provided precise data that allow us to know the situation of the riparian ecosystems that are found in the Usumacinta basin. The points located in the main river, show a quantity of dragging of soil particles, caused by the deforestation of the riparian vegetation in the region and the erosion of the soil.

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