By Karen Figueroa, Víctor Izurieta, Christian Pérez y Esteban Tenecota

Translated by: Lucía Karolina Reyes Romero


In hydrological terms, is not admissible to say that the rivers are only conducts for transporting water, in form of channels or pipes. The volumes of water that they transport are very variable throughout the year and they vary depending on the climatic conditions, the morphology of the river basin and the lithology that passes through the water.

 A continuous and intense interaction exists between the river bed, the water that goes through it and the riversides. Therefore, any alteration of this set of interactions can have a result of deterioration of the fluvial ecosystem. On this way, it is stablished that an environment is contaminated when its biotic and abiotic conditions get away of the correspondent of its natural state. (Agirre & Bikuña, 2001).

caudales ecologicos



The hydraulic works artificially regulate the volumes, but this regulation affects in a sustancial way the aquatic fauna reophile, not only because of the level  fluctuations that are produced, but because of the temporal lag where they occur regarding to the natural phenology. That´s why, the integral management of the water and biological resources that are related to it should confront the problematic that these works are causing and, specifically, quantify the minimum surrounding flows that are capable to maintain the ecosystems of the rivers that are relatively regulated (González-del-Tánago, 2014).

In Ecuador investigations are being realized with funded projects in the preserving of the ecological flows that exist in the principal hydrographic basins of the country; as evidence of this, it can be mentioned the proyect Quillán-Alemania, located in the Píllaro canton, province of Tungurahua, which aims to capture a flow of 40% of the total of about 450 liters per second of water that comes from natural slopes own by the sector. It is important to emphasize that in the mentioned sector is idealised an ambiental balance with its water resources, giving way to several hatcheries of a specie of fishes in particular, known as trout.



The need of the population of having a water service with quality has generated a concern, in noting that this benefit has become in something vulnerable and it is being endangered. In Ecuador, the interest of taking care and preserving the ecosystems that provide water services, has increased.

The principal initiative that is taken by the municipal authorities is the creation of a mechanism of payment for ambiental services for the preserving of river basins, which consists in the monetary remuneration in exchange for maintaining or modifying the use of the ground that affects the disponibility and/or quality of the water resource. The monitoring in many projects is not very rigorous or it is not even being monitored, however a big progress in the ambit of tha ambiental maintenance is being noticed (Cordero-Camacho, 2008).



We consider that the most adequate way of managing the water resources that nature provides us is through a balance between the use and protection of the involved ecosystems; reusing the treated waters, reducing the polluting discharges and by actively involving the civil society; all this with the objective of returning to the water ecosystem its natural dynamic. 




Agirre, A., & Bikuña, B. G. D. (January 2001). Conceptos básicos para la aplicación del caudal ecológico. Barcelona: s.e.

Cordero-Camacho, D. (2008). Esquemas de pagos por servicios ambientales para la conservación de cuencas hidrográficas en el Ecuador. Investigación Agraria: Sistemas y Recursos Forestales, 17(1), 54-66.

Recuperado de file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/1521-2440-1-PB.pdf.

González-del-Tánago, M. (2014). El concepto de caudal ecológico y criterios para su aplicación en los ríos españoles. Madrid: s.e.


You can contact the autors of this article:

Karen Figueroa: 



Víctor Izurieta:



Christian Pérez: 



Esteban Tenecota: 


¿Quieres que tu escuela participe? Criterios Editoriales ¿Quieres escribir un artículo?

CES         UTA        World Wildlife Fund        PrepaTEC        IMTA        CONAGUA        Missionárias Servas do Espírito Santo      

Hoja legal

Redes Sociales


Spanish Portuguese  USA

  • Lo más reciente

  • Recomendado

  • asdasd
  • Between habitats and flows
  • Climate change in our flows
  • Climate change vs Usumacinta River
  • Ecological flows of Ecuador and its security  
  • Ecoturismo
  • El embalse del río Chiquicahua y la trucha arcoíris, Ecuador
  • Get wet
  • How do the methodologies of ecological flows work?
  • How to determine a flow?
  • Inform yourself
  • Let's talk about...
  • Let’s be responsible with
  • Let’s save our channels!
  • Responses to the transformations of imposed flows
  • S.O.S Salvemos al Río Verde
  • Take care of the species is our duty
  • Take note
  • Taking action
  • What happens in the river Conchos?
  • What is it and how can we contribute?
  • zxczxczc
  • ¿Qué paso en la presa Mariana de Sao paulo, Brasil?
  • More News