The Belize National Climate Change Office within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management along with the National Hydrological Service within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining have joined efforts to develop a groundwater monitoring system for the management of aquifers in Belize. This system will serve as a tool to track the impacts of climate change in the water sector. It will also be useful for the National Hydrological Service and other government agencies and non-state partners to identify risks in water supply for diverse groundwater users in Belize.

The project is in its preliminary phase where fieldwork and studies will be conducted in the New River Watershed. The results of a series of field testing, assessments and research will guide and inform the development of the monitoring system for aquifers countrywide.

Specific deliverables for this preliminary stage include an assessment of groundwater availability and demand, mapping of aquifers in the New River watershed, benchmarking of existing methodologies for groundwater monitoring, design of the monitoring system including a suggested implementation plan and an operational framework, a financing strategy for a full monitoring system, a concept note for system implementation, and a manual for capacity building.

The project will be implemented over a 12-month period between September 2022 and August 2023. Technical works will be carried out by HR Walliford Limited, while financial support is being provided by the Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN). Additionally, a Stakeholder Working Group comprising of community and government stakeholders will be established to provide technical overview and high-level guidance at each stage of the process.