Costa Rica will start a project to bring water to more than half a million people in the arid region of Guanacaste. The government announced the project on Thursday after receiving international financing, putting a proposal that had been pending since 1983 in motion.
The initiative to bring safe drinking water to the people of Guanacaste will also help 746 farmers irrigate of 19,000 hectares of land, the government said.
The project will cost an estimated $457.8 million, and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) will finance $425 million of it.
The project is just waiting for the Legislative Assembly’s to approve the BCIE loan.
The CABEI noted in its approval that the project would benefit a historically dry zone with problems that have been exacerbated by climate change.
The targetted zone is also one of the biggest tourist hotspots in Costa Rica and home to some of the most-visited beaches in the country.
The project plans on using irrigation canals that go through the Lomas de Barbudal biological reserve in the of Bagaces. The government will have to flood 113 hectares of the reserve to complete the projection.
As compensation, the government said it will incorporate 531 hectares of the surrounding area into the biological reserve.
Severe drought in Guanacaste causing millions of dollars in losses