Restoring Lake Fúquene – Colombia

Lake Fúquene in Colombia is suffering from massive eutrophication and sedimentation. CAR (The Autonomous Environmental Corporation of Cundinamarca) is committed to restoring the important lake to its former glory.

Watermasters in Colombia
Restoring Lake Fúquene

Lake Fúquene is a natural body of water located in the state of Cundinamarca at a height of 2,540 meters above sea level. It was considered sacred in the religion of the Muiscas natives who inhabited the region before the Spanish conquest in 1530. In 1933 the lake had a surface area of 10,265 hectares whereas today that has shrunk to 3,145 hectares, of which approximately 60% is affected by invasive vegetation and sedimentation problems. If nothing had been done, the area would have continued diminishing at a rapid rate. Since this lake is of great importance in the social and economic development of the region, the Colombian government took the decision to start restoring it in 2006.


  • Lake Fúquene in Colombia suffers from heavy siltation and eutrophication
  • The Colombian government took action to restore the lake through the CAR organisation
  • The existing convential machinery in Colombia could not handle the project requirements efficiently
  • Watermaster was acquired to help complete the project succesfully

Project planning and goals

The Colombian government established a strategic plan for restoring the lake. The Autonomous Environmental Corporation of Cundinamarca – CAR was designated to be responsible for developing the lagoon system of Fúquene. CAR, under the leadership of its award-winning Director, Mr. Nestor Franco, has become known for its strong commitment to restoring and maintaining the environment, using the best technologies available.

The goal of the Lake Fúquene project is to restore its ecological condition and biodiversity and to secure the availability of clean drinking water and irrigation water for the local communities.

Evaluating work methods

CAR started the recovery project working with the various existing machinery, which was available in Colombia at the time. It turned out, that due to the conditions of the lake (shallowness, deep zones, windy conditions) these machines could not operate effectively. The invasive vegetation was growing at a faster rate than it was being removed from the lake. The project also required a wide range of varied tasks. Besides vegetation removal, suction dredging, backhoe dredging and piling were also needed. CAR started searching for suitable machinery that could meet these requirements. This is how, after thorough research, CAR identified Watermaster as the best option. Watermaster was found to be a machine with versatile multipurpose capabilities (multiple tools can be operated with the same machine) and excellent mobility (amphibious self-propelled machine that can work in very shallow waters and be transported by road in a trailer anywhere in the region without the need to disassemble the machine). In addition, it was a proven solution – Watermasters are succesfully completing similar projects in over 70 countries worldwide. All these reasons favoured Watermaster as the most suitable technology with the lowest overall investment cost and operational cost, which was of high importance for the financial management of the project.

In 2017 a powerful Watermaster Classic V dredger was supplied to CAR by KHALELA SAS, the local Watermaster agent. This is how CAR was able to prove the advantages of Watermaster at their own site, during six months of operation at Lake Fúquene. Watermaster really did the work of many separate machines. This led to the acquisition of three new Watermaster units for the maintenance of Bogotá River, which is another project developed by this environmental corporation.

Watermasters in colombia

Colombia is a country with many water resources which need to be cleaned and maintained. Watermaster has demonstrated itself to be very suitable for many of these projects.
Watermaster technology has been present in Colombia since 2012 when the first machines were delivered. From the very beginning Watermaster has shown that it is a very useful asset for private and public companies executing projects with current limited budgets. Its mobility and multipurpose capabilities enable efficient and productive cleaning, restoring and maintaining of water bodies. Watermaster’s work area extends from dry ground to water depths of up to 6.5 meters. Watermaster can even navigate in relatively strong water currents, such as in the River Magdalena, for example. Here Watermaster’s success was due to its self-propelling capacity and good stability when navigating against the current of this river, during the execution of the projects.

CAR and many other organisations in Colombia are convinced that the original Watermaster is an essential addition to their machinery fleet and for their work to keep the water bodies of Colombia in good condition now and in the future.

Fabio Zapata
Naval Architect and Marine Engineer, member of PIANC – InCom

Lake Fúquene is situated in the state of Cundinamarca in Colombia, near the Capital Bogotá

Watermaster is a fully amphibious multipurpose vessel that can walk in and out of water without crane assistance.
Watermasters have been cleaning, restoring and maintaining rivers, lakes and other shallow water bodies in Colombia since 2012