Central America

Catholic Relief Services, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)


Our Expert:

LimnoTech is developing the Blue Harvest Water Benefits Calculator (WBC) for Catholic Relief Services to support its Water Smart Agriculture Initiative in Central America. The WBC is the first tool of its kind for the coffee community to support farm management decision-making. Based on the widely-applied HSPF hydrologic framework, the WBC quantifies the hydrologic impacts of specific land management interventions.

The Challenge

The reliability of water supply is decreasing across Central America due to land degradation, overexploitation, pollution, and a changing climate. Poor agricultural practices in coffee cultivation can drive deforestation and negatively impact water resources by contributing to erosion and declining water quantity and quality. Blue Harvest is a program coordinated by CRS as part of CRS’ Water Smart Agriculture initiative in Central America. The program focuses on protecting and restoring drinking water sources in the coffee lands of Central America by promoting sustainable coffee production and processing practices. The Blue Harvest WBC was developed to support this initiative.

The Outcome

The Blue Harvest WBC provides valuable information for coffee farmers and institutions regarding the hydrologic benefits of existing and planned management interventions. The tool has identified the most impactful practices for controlling erosion and increasing recharge. LimnoTech is currently expanding the tool and developing a field protocol, adding cost information, and converting the tool into an online platform.


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