The Basin Report Card Initiative goes to Monterrey, Mexico!Heath Kelsey ·
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Basin Report Card Initiative (BRCI) partnership visited Monterrey Mexico to attend the opening of the Water Center at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, and to meet with the FEMSA foundation and Water Center about the potential for report cards for the Rio Bravo, Rio Conchos, and Monterrey areas, as well as Water Reserves programs and expansion of all of these projects to other Latin American Countries.
The Water Center opening was impressive - the focal point was the Núcleo Estratégico Decisiones (NED), and a demonstration of the "Decision Making Theater," which is a panoramic screen that (among other things) displays scenario results from models developed to evaluate options for water extraction and demand. One display showed long term changes to future reservoir levels based on model results for scenarios involving approximately 15 options for water supply enhancement or demand reduction. Results were distilled into the number of years that predicted demand will exceed supply over the next several decades.
Another application presented a ranking of potential options based on criteria for feasibility, cultural appropriateness, and environmental and industry impacts. Results were scored and presented in stoplight colors showing which options were acceptable for which criteria. Results were summarized with an overall YES or NO, as an indication of an option to be considered further. Of course these types of syntheses are right up our alley, and I was happy to see that.
There were several other areas of common interest between the BRCI and Water Center: the Water Center focuses on synthesizing stories from data to create actionable information for decision makers, they focus on a holistic view of water resource management, and want to involve multiple stakeholders in their assessment processes. These are very much in line with the BRCI approach to empowering local organizations to develop report cards as awareness and decision-making instruments. Moreover, our discussions suggested that the Water Center could be the national champions for BRCI efforts, starting with the Rio Bravo, Rio Conchos, and Monterrey areas, but expanding to other areas within Mexico, and also to other Latin American countries. We look forward to continuing our discussions to advance the BRCI efforts in Mexico!
We also had a very brief chance to explore our little corner of Monterrey, and it was very nice - many hip restaurants and bars filled with people stopping on their way home from work for a beer with friends and a light dinner. People eat late in Mexico, and they eat light, especially at dinner time. I look forward to visiting Monterrey again, and working to starting our important work there!
About the author
Heath Kelsey has been with IAN since 2009, as a Science Integrator, Program Manager, and as Director since 2019. His work focuses on helping communities become more engaged in socio-environmental decision making. He has over 10-years of experience in stakeholder engagement, environmental and public health assessment, indicator development, and science communication. He has led numerous ecosystem health and socio-environmental health report card projects globally, in Australia, India, the South Pacific, Africa, and throughout the US. Dr. Kelsey received his MSPH (2000) and PhD (2006) from The University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health. He is a graduate of St Mary’s College of Maryland (1988). He was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Papua New Guinea from 1995-1998.