Economy July 6, 2015 | 11:15 am

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To survive, biggest Dominican river basin needs US$70.0M yearly

Santo Domingo.- The head of the north Yaque river basin sustainabledevelopment plan director on Sunday said the fact that only 40% of the basin isforested reveals its degradation.

Humberto Checo said the Plan aims to increase coverage to80% in five years to make it a healthy watershed, for which US$70.0 millionneeded each year. "We have to reach 8%, which is 200,000 hectares ofwatershed, which require planting 80 million trees per year."

He said a study on rainfall and volume in 20 of the northYaque’s 75 watersheds found that the recent drought cut the average flow toonly 40%, “which reveals deterioration.”

"They aren’t healthy; a healthy watershed has astable forest cover and has water flowing even if it stops raining. The waterseeps into the subsoil through the forests," he said.

Interviewed on the program Quidando el Huerto (Tendingthe Vegetable Garden), Checo said the priority now is to restore lost forestareas and keep them there through appropriate management and reforestation, forwhich he affirms that as many as 60,000 days of work per person are needed peryear.

The north Yaque basin’s 7,053 square kilometers arespread over La Vega, Santiago, Valverde, Santiago Rodriguez, Montecristi andDajabon provinces home to 40 cities and towns with a population of 1.5 million.

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