BANASA engineers shared their water management expertise on responsible and sustainable water practices at the 1st Integrated Water Management Congress held recently in Escuintla, Guatemala. The event was organized by CENGICAÑA, APIB, GREPALMA, ASAZGUA, and the Climate Change Research Institute (ICC).

Although Guatemala has ample rainwater, surface and groundwater, the country faces substantial resource and institutional challenges in national water management projects. The 150 delegates at the Congress represented a broad cross-section of those affected by these problems: agro-industrialists, members of municipalities, mayors, community and spiritual leaders, among others. The objective of the Congress was to ensure sustainable, productive water systems in the Southern Coast of Guatemala.

BANASA, a sustainable banana and vegetable oil company, participated in the session Advances in Irrigation, Storage, Conservation and Reuse of Water Systems. The water management topics addressed were:

– Water in the Southern Coast – current status
– Challenges and progress in integrated management; water and sanitation
– Legal and institutional considerations in the integrated management of water
– Water storage, diversion, transportation and distribution
– Water conservation and reuse
– Progress in irrigation systems
– Current and future risks

BANASA has invested in several smart irrigation techniques that have led to better use of water and improved energy consumption: sensors that sample and monitor moisture in the soil to regulate irrigation needs were implemented; a micro-spraying technology that allows optimized application of irrigation in plantations, using water more efficiently and reducing application times by 33%; probes that directly measure the moisture content of the soil in real time and deliver data that facilitates decision making.

BANASA has implemented other water re-utilization techniques, such as the use of reservoirs to collect water during the rainy season that can be used for irrigation when climate conditions require it and the reutilization of water in their packing plants, which saves 80 percent of the water needed there.