Water Level Observation Network for Latin America (RONMAC)




In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch, the fourth most intense Atlantic Ocean hurricane on record, battered Central America, resulting in damage estimated in the range of US$7.5 to US$8.5 billion for the region.  Studies indicate that extreme events such as Hurricane Mitch are common in Central America and are expected to increase in both frequency and severity.  Accordingly, a strong commitment is being made by regional governments and donor agencies to strengthen infrastructure and capacity in order to address these issues.  The RONMAC project has been devised by the U.S. Government in direct response to the impact of Hurricane Mitch on four Central American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 


Participating Agency

  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Funding Agency

  • Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (CO-OPS/NOAA), of the US Department of Commerce, as Administrating Agency

  • Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment of the Organization of American States (OAS/USDE), as Executing Agency

  • Regional Committee for Water Resources (CRRH), as Regional Coordinating Agency

  • National agencies in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, as direct counterparts and beneficiaries of the RONMAC project



To provide support for the development and improvement of the geodetic framework of Central America with direct benefits to coastal resources management, coastal hazard mitigation and emergency planning, design and development of coastal infrastructure and harbor facilities, and coastal navigation.


Time Frame


The RONMAC Project is being executed from June 2000 to December 31, 2001.  RONMAC will continue after the official participation of the OAS/USDE and CO-OPS/NOAA has ended, thanks to significant country buy-in and capacity-building activities.  CRRH’s role as the Regional Coordinating Agency will continue after the Project officially ends.



  1. Install six state-of-the-art sea-level and meteorological monitoring stations in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua;

  2. Install ground station and facilitate real-time access to and distribution of information;

  3. Develop a national and regional capacity to install and maintain the stations and to conduct data acquisition, analysis, archiving and dissemination using automated data-base management technology; and

  4. Strengthen professional and technical skills of host-country agencies and national and regional institutions through technology transfer and capacity building.



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