[HimalAndes Focused Conversation] Case 2: Integrated Water Management of Muylo Mullucro catchment, Tarma, Peru

Felipe Custer, Sep 24, 2013, Case 2: Integrated Water Management of Muylo Mullucro catchment, Tarma, Peru

I. Basin overview

Location: The micro Muylo - Mullucro are located in the district of Tarma , Tarma province and department of Junin, Peru . Both watersheds are located in the upper river basin Tarma . The access road from Tarma is by dirt road for a stretch of 14 kms .

Area: It has a total area of 23 311 hectares. And has three life zones: tropical montane steppe ( 3300-2500 m) , tropical montane rain forest ( 3,500 to 4,000 m) and subalpine wet tropical Páramo ( above 4000 m). Consists of the following rural communities : Ayas , Auquiscancha and Mullucro Sanyacnacha in the micro , and Pian , Muylo , Huichay and Urauchoc in the micro Muylo .

Muylo Mullucro Rivers: Two rivers Muylo and Mullucro , that together form the River Seco is a tributary of the River Tarma and this in turn is a tributary of the River Chanchamayo that together with the River Paucartambo create the River Perene. It belongs to the axis of the basin Perene in the Atlantic basin .

The sources of the river's Muylo are at an altitude of 4400 masl , its flow follows a south - north orientation until its confluence with the river Mullucro . Mullucro River has its origins at 4430 meters and is oriented northeast - southwest

Main Uses: Human consumption: from water springs captured and piped to homes , it is not treated water for agricultural use for irrigation of 410 hectares; Livestock use: minimal, being oriented to sheep and cattle consumption; industrial use: small hydroelectric generating energy to power small grain mills and a small trout farm.

Users: The people in the communities are the main users of water from the watershed , those using the water for drinking , agriculture and livestock primarily, for this are organized in three Irrigation Commissions and 15 irrigation Committee 1490 grouping users. The Irrigation Committee is responsible for the administration, management of water resources and the improvement and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure 

II. The problems at the Basin

•The highlands are the waterworks, have problems of degradation due to the rugged terrain, the temporary production systems and the over-exploitation of soils and vegetation that infiltration has decreased as a result of lower vegetation causing erosion and decreases the flow in water sources.

•Make agriculture about 3800 m have much climate risk, and the price of potatoes (main crop) is very unstable.

•With agriculture is reversed for the planting and maintenance and new revenues can see after six months, if there are no problems with the weather or prices.

•Shortage of pasture in the dry season months due to lack of water and poor management of grazing (overgrazing and burning of grass).

•Temporary water deficit, forcing irrigation frequencies from 15 to 20 days, did not satisfy the demand of crops and decreased production also had bouts irrigation shifts.

•Poor management of irrigation water in the plot and poor systems operation and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure.

•Migration towards the jungle or the great cities by the failure of agriculture and looking for better income and education.

•Intense erosion, due to its complex topography and by inappropriate land use. In Mullucro be had for 48% of land with severe erosion problems extreme, while Muylo is 56% with this same problem.

•Conflict between users by changing land use, mainly the protective change of land to intensive cultivation and grazing.

•Deforestation by excessive felling of trees and shrubs.

•Limited socio-organizational capacity generated by community disorganization, tendency to individuality usual loss of collective work.

III. Actions taken

At Muylo - Mullucro , the Peruvian Government decided the intervention of PRONAMACHCS. It is an organization of the Ministry of Agriculture which began operations in August 1981 with the purpose to impove the watershed management and soil conservation in Andean basins.

In 1983, PRONAMACHCS started their work at this basin, creating conservationists committees inside community organizations, building absorption terraces, slow formation terraces and infiltration trenches. It was complemented with reforestation and irrigation and with direct support to the agricultural production. The process was milestones oriented and as an inceptive to achieve the milestone the program provided tools and agricultural inputs.

In 1998 , PRONAMACHCS moved ahead with the promotion of the creation of Catchment Management Committee, consisting of community representatives and representatives of organizations within the catchment. The Committee aimed a concerted and planned implementation of the management proposal, which seeks the integral development of the catchment.

Since then and throughout a participatory process the committee was able to  consolidated and strengthened watershed organizations which were able to create a concerted development plan for the catchment.

IV. Issues

•Difficulties with a concerted work among different organizations with interest beyond the catchment. This is also reflected in the duplication of effort due to the lack of coordination and the desire for leadership of institutions.

•Continuous changes in project staff, regardless of the work that was being carried out, and not taking into account the effort and time invested. These jobs require trained technical staff permanently in the area.

•Development proposals at the basin scale are slow and long processes, so many times we face immediatist sighted people, even within the project, which required rapid change.

V. Results achieved so far

•The management committee of the catchment was formed and is still operating. It is composed of representatives of community organizations ( community leaders , organization of irrigation , etc. ) and representatives of institutions involved in the catchment ( municipalities , NGOs, etc. ) . Their function is to plan and implement the development plan of the watershed in consultation with all organizations and institutions in your area.

•Population, leaders and officers  were trained and sensitized to the proper management of natural resources in the watershed by  an intensive training processes , including exchange internships and study tours.

•Management of the upper basin through practices such as rotational grazing closure and natural , construction of infiltration trenches ( 150 has.) , Cultivated pastures installation and installation of native forest species ( 12-13000 seedlings / year).

•As a result of the work done in the top and through a process of organization and modernization of irrigation systems in the lower catchment, the water availability was increased, with direct impact on improved pasture production and milk production .

•The best milk production ( from 3.5 to 7.88 litres / cow / day) and the transformation process dairy products has improved the income of families and community .

•It has increased the income per capita / month 24.45 to 32.24 dollars. The preserved and irrigated land have tripled in value .

•It has generated interest from other institutions , such as universities , municipality , governmental and non-governmental organizations who are supporting the development process of the watersheds .

•Has been generated and validated technologies, methodologies and intervention strategies in watersheds , which have been disseminated and applied to other experiences. You can see replicas Huaricolca communities and large Hualquín .

•The experience has been disseminated nationally and internationally , showing a comprehensive management model watersheds , where the priority is rational and integrated use of natural resources

VI. Lessons learnt, Key success factors and replication possibilities

•The active participation of the population in the whole process of management of the catchment , taking over leadership of the proposal and its leaders.

•Participative methodologies process started from diagnosis , planning and implementation of actions , for which it was necessary to reach community consensus . For example : to regulate the number of cows per ha. , Provision for fines and penalties for noncompliance (some were expelled from the community).

•The form of land tenure and organization in communities and interests that influence both the upper, middle and lower  watershed , provided the agreements and consensus on the integrated effort in the basin.

•Start prioritizing the strengthening of community organizations and youth leadership training for trained personnel to lead the process of watershed management and ensure their continuity.

•The institutional consensus throughout the process helped to join forces and take the holistic approach of the watershed . Using the experience and knowledge of other institutions and promote common efforts.

•Communication and dissemination of the importance of integrated management of the catchment , noting that rational or irrational actions of a resource affects other resources within the watershed .

•Exchanges of experience and training and awareness methodologies that allow participants to network and share practical experiences , encourages participants to replicate in their areas the most representative works of the places visited .

•Training , especially children and youth , approached from the perspective of the hydrological cycle , considering the management and integrated management of watersheds .

•It has been successfully linked the resource conservation processes with production processes articulated to the market, which resulted in improved economic returns but especially in the tranquillity of keeping their natural resources base.

•Long term process: PRONAMACHCS implemented it for more than 10 years.

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Comment by Ana Maria Ponce on September 25, 2013 at 11:03pm

Dear KM4Dev Members, friends and colleagues, congratulations for the excellent idea of organizing the HimalAndes Initiative electronic forum "Knowledge sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas", which started last Monday and which will last the next three weeks.  I found it very significant, useful and motivating.

 As the Field Coordinator of the “Touristic Use of the Qhapaq Ñan and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage of Tarmatambo” project, based at the pre-Inca site of Tarmatambo, an ancient Andean community located some seven kilometers from Tarma City, I found very interesting the case from CONDESAN titled "Case 2: Integrated Water Management of Muylo Mullucro Catchment, Tarma, Peru", which shows an example about how exchanges of experience and training and awareness methodologies allow participants to network and share practical experiences, encourages participants to replicate work in other areas". 


I have some questions as regards this case that I would like to share with you,

  • How is this achieved?
  • Are periodic workshops organized?
  • What is the role of CONDESAN in this project?


Thank you in advance.



Guillermo Castro


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