Analyze the management of water resources in Costa Rica
El Pais newspaper. 08/12/2011 San Jose, Costa Rica
Successful management of water resources in Costa Rica, seen and approached as a shared responsibility, was the subject of the recent forum organized by the National Service of Groundwater, Irrigation and Drainage-SENARA with collaboration of the Costa Rica University, UCR and the municipality of Barva, in the auditorium of the nvestigation City.
During the opening ceremony of the meeting the speakers discussed the challenges facing the country in terms of better management of water resources, leading to review existing regulations. In this regard Mr. Bernal Soto, SENARA General Manager, said that the Water Law that governs this field has enabled the country to differentiate itself from other countries, but stressed the need for a governing body that coordinates the efforts of different organizations that manage the water in Costa Rica. Soto also said that we need a water information system that values the climate change with action for adecuate water resources to climate change; as well as hydro-meteorological information in real time that is available to everyone, it must also develop skills in managing water resources and increase the investments in water. Soto acknowledged that the State has made great efforts in the country’s water infrastructure for the water use, but also stressed that you should invest in protecting the water. He finished by urging forum participants to engage with this, wich will throw and provide important evidence for a better management of water resources..
For its part, the Master in Science Rolando Mora, Director of the Central American School of Geology, said that water is essential for socio-economic development of peoples, energy demand will double in 25 years, the climate change will increase the complexity in the water use, for all this “is necessary to ensure flows of water: environmental, surface and underground; planning should be more effective to ensure future supply.” According to Mora, to have a proper green growth the country should consider: the water as a topic on the agenda of national development, the sustainable hydropower projects, the anticipated flood management, strengthen the institutions within the context of watersheds, mitigate pollution water, among other critical variables for a proper management of water resources in the country.
Mr. Marvin Coto, SENARA official, spoke about the project for the integrated management of water resources, which aims to contribute to sustainable human development through the integrated management of water resources and support services. It consists of three key components in the management of water resources: groundwater, irrigation, and drainage. This project promotes research, management and water conservation to ensure sustainability, quality and quantity of hydro resources in the local and regional levels. In addition, Coto said, promotes a comprehensive strategy to address the deficit, aimed at increasing competitiveness, support national food security and provide better socioeconomic conditions to the families of farmers.
The SENARA role on the management of water resources in the country was detailed by Mr. Carlos Romero, who said that the criteria issued by the SENARA are binding for the country and seek to solve problems of scarcity, access, quality and water sanitation. According dates to this entity, inadequate management of water resources has negative consequences on health, increased costs of water services and a supply deficit. The SENARA, said Romero,to attend to situations that threaten the country’s water resources such as dumping of hydrocarbons in water sources, the loss of groundwater resource over exploitation or chemical contamination. Moreover, the lack of water affecting urban development should also address cases by limiting development due to conflicts on water use and pollution risks in tourism projects.
During the two day meeting, specialists from various public agencies and members of community water systems, representatives of 1600 community water systems that serving to 30% of the population, discussed issues regarding on the management of water resources in the country, such as hydrogeology and its application as a tool for spatial planning, integrated management of water resources and land use planning, management and protection of public water supply sources, the national inventory of wells and springs, among others.