USAID’s five-year, $12 million Upper Lempa Watershed Project focuses on the headwaters of the Lempa River, which is the largest and most important river in El Salvador. The project will improve the health and resilience of the Upper Lempa watershed, directly impacting the well-being and water security of approximately 180,000 people in nine municipalities in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.


Over the life of the project, USAID will address water security risks linked to man-made, climate, and environmental factors covering approximately 260,000 hectares (ha) of the Upper Lempa River watershed, a biologically significant region overlapping with numerous protected ecosystems.

Activities mitigate future water security risks by ensuring that the national water authorities and transboundary institutions have the information and capacity for collaborative planning and decision-making to enhance water security for the Upper Lempa River basin, and downstream users who depend on the Lempa River for economic prosperity, human wellbeing, and ecosystem health.

The project works closely with the Trifinio Plan, a regional institution under the Central American Integration System (SICA), led by the Vice Presidents of El Salvador and the Presidential Designees from Honduras and Guatemala, which seeks to develop environmental and territorial management to improve the living conditions of border communities. sustainable coffee, and protection of the Trifinio transboundary biosphere reserve.

Additionally, the project promotes productive economic activities that help reduce violence and gender discrimination.  

The Upper Lempa Watershed Project is an agreement under the Sustainable Water Partnership, a global USAID project that promotes global water security through collaborative planning and evidence-based decision-making for practical solutions to address climate-related water security risks.



$13.3 million


April 2022– April 2027


  • Winrock International
  • Plan Trifinio
  • Tetra Tech ARD
  • Stockholm Environment Institute
  • The Center for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC)


Nine Municipalities in the Trifinio transboundary area of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras