At national level, the Presidential Commission for Coordination of the Water Sector in Honduras (CONAGUAH) was created in 2015 to promote activities for drought-stricken communities, coordinated by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG). Also, the Governmental Drought Action Plan for Food Security, provides food assistance to 161,403 families in municipalities affected by severe and moderate drought. Within this framework, the Irrigation and Drainage Directorate of SAG, through its National Water Harvesting Project, developed a strategy to build 27 reservoirs to address the problem.
The reservoirs range from 3,100 to 67,000 m3 in volume, and from 2.75 to 8 meters in depth, with the potential to provide year-round irrigation to 128 hectares. The project included capacity building and support for technical and organisational aspects for operation, maintenance and sustainability; including an irrigation system maintenance program, as well as the start-up of the Irrigation Districts.
The Irrigation Districts establish a need-based irrigation schedule to ensure all users have equal access to water; and have a legal structure recognised by national authorities to exploit the reservoirs. Reservoirs were built following technical design criteria that would ensure the best possible outcome from the intervention. Only 11% of reservoirs had to be waterproofed due to the type of soil. All other reservoirs are fully functional. The project prompted a local private initiative to build eight additional reservoirs, expanding the area under irrigation to a total of 183 ha.