• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Sardinal Water Meeting Rescheduled for Nov. 9

October 31, 2008

Government officials and residents of Sardinal, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, have rescheduled a pivotal water rights meeting for Nov. 9 after the government canceled the original meeting a few weeks ago due to heavy rains.

The meeting will showcase a preliminary report on the sustainability of the Sardinal aquifer conducted by a multiinstitutional government water committee.

The report examines, among other things, whether the aquifer could supply water to Ocotal and Playas del Coco, two tourist communities located on the coast about 9 kilometers away.

The government’s canceling and rescheduling of the meeting incited protest from local residents, who complain they have been systematically left out of the management of their water.

Mario Zaragoza, spokesman for the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry, confirmed the preliminary report is finished but doubted the ministry would be able to hold the report back from public outlets until the new meeting.

Yet in a public statement on Wednesday, the nation’s ombudswoman challenged the ministry’s transparency. While the Constitution gives her office preliminary access to public documents, she has been unable to obtain the completed report.

This confusion underscores the conflict that has surrounded the water source in recent months.

In May, the $8 million, privately-funded aqueduct project was suspended following over a week of protests that challenged its long-term sustainability.

Although the project  was 75 percent complete, opponents of the project, including the ombudswoman, say the Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) never completed a sustainability study of the aquifer and the private investors did not obtain the necessary permits (TT, May 30).

Now, armed with what they say is evidence of foul play, locals are vowing to literally fight to take control of the water.

Community leaders are demanding a yearlong study of the aquifer and the resignation of AyA President Ricardo Sancho.

–Devon Magee

 

You may be interested

Quepos airport renovations (finally) underway
Costa Rica
4 views
Costa Rica
4 views

Quepos airport renovations (finally) underway

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 6, 2021

Renovation and expansion of the runway at La Managua Airport in Quepos began Wednesday and will completed before September. "The…

PAHO says region’s hospitals are ‘dangerously full’
Latin America
5 views
Latin America
5 views

PAHO says region’s hospitals are ‘dangerously full’

Ariela NAVARRO / AFP - May 6, 2021

PAHO, the Americas office of the World Health Organization (WHO), warned on Wednesday that hospitals in the region are "dangerously…

IDB approves $500 million loan for Costa Rica
Costa Rica
5 views
Costa Rica
5 views

IDB approves $500 million loan for Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 6, 2021

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said Wednesday that it has approved two loans to Costa Rica totaling $500 million. "Costa…