Costa Rica is one of three countries chosen to participate in a pilot project financed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the improvement on water availability. GWP Costa Rica was a key partner in the coordination of 14 regional and sectorial workshops. The input from the process was important for the elaboration of the final document, which was launched at a formal event in San José, Costa Rica on October 31, 2013.
The directors of the government bodies leading the Water Agenda initiative were present at the launch event, including the Minister of Environment, Energy and Seas (MINAE), the Director of the National Service Groundwater Irrigation and Drainage (SENARA) who is also Chair of GWP Costa Rica, the Executive Director of the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA). The Vice President of Costa Rica was also present.
In the preparatory phase of the project, one of the main gaps identified was the “insufficient understanding of the economic and ecological benefits of an integrated approach in the water sector by decision makers and legislators in Costa Rica.”
Although the country has a legal framework for the management of water, including the National Water Policy, the National Plan of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and various strategies on water issues, the country has been unable to establish a management plan that integrates institutional tasks to ensure the availability of water for years to come.
As part of the pilot project, a consultation process began in November 2012 and continued on through the beginning of 2013, for the formulation of a Water Agenda that would contribute to elevating the water issue as a central theme in the Governing Council, in order to find the most expeditious procedures to address challenges such as budget constraints, insufficient allocation of resources for public investment and reform backlog of legislation.
Photo: A formal event was held in San José, Costa Rica on 31 October 2013.