Water shortage in the province of Guanacaste, especially in the North Pacific coastal communities where we are located, has been a long-time issue that all of the different municipalities of all counties have been battling with for years now. Fortunately, during the construction of the “Alberto Cañas Escalante National Development Plan (2015 – 2018)”, a program directly targeting this issue was conceived. Its name is “Programa Integral de Abastecimiento de Agua para Guanacaste - Pacífico Norte” or in english “Comprehensive Water Supply Program for Guanacaste – North Pacific”.
It integrates a series of projects and strategic actions for the development of hydraulic infrastructure, management of water resources, implementation of innovative technologies, as well as conservation and efficient use of water. All of it to improve access to water for people and economic activities. By its acronym in Spanish, PIAAG’s objective is to ensure the optimal use of water resources in the North Pacific area of Guanacaste so the demand of this resource can be met. Its development includes four strategic axes:
- Water security for the communities (AYA systems and communal aqueducts - ASADAS)
- Food security (Increase of food production with irrigation systems)
- Ecosystem water needs (Promoting the sustainability of ecosystems)
- Management of sustainable use (improving the use of available water, prioritizing groundwater).
For the execution and follow-up of the PIAAG, the Comisión de Alto Nivel was constituted by Executive Decree, composed by the heads of the different institutions related to water and project execution. The Secretaría Técnica was also created and put in charge of the follow-up of the projects and the coordination of technical tasks. Within the period of 2015 – 2018 the Program created a total of 54 projects after spotting the needs of the communities, but only 32 were fully executed. In the new “Bicentenario National Public Investment and Development Plan 2019 – 2022”, the PIAAG was again included as a strategic intervention within the territorial development section.
There are 22 projects that were left to be completed in the last period from 2019 to 2022, for an investment projected of 212,917 million colones (About US$ 370,000,000). For the completion of these projects, SENARA (which translates into National Service of Groundwater, Irrigation and Drainage) is counting on the Nimboyores Aquifer located in the community of Lorena, 14 miles away from Playa Tamarindo. The work will benefit 50,000 people. Aqueduct will be promoted in conjunction with 12 ASADAS: Huacas, El Llano, Mar Vista Estate, La Garita-Lajas-Mangos, Matapalo, Brasilito Beach, Playa Grande, Potrero Beach, Santa Rosa, Surfside, Tamarindo and Villareal. The project has all the technical and environmental studies already in place.
The new coastal aqueduct will take advantage of the water from the Nimboyores aquifer to supply the communities of the county of Santa Cruz that are located closer to the sea, whose wells are highly vulnerable to drought and salinization. The work has already began with the placement of the first meters of pipe. The project is promoted jointly by the AYA and the Associations Administrators of Aqueduct and Communal Sewer Systems (ASAS). It consists of 38 km of pipeline, four storage tanks, the purchase of land for tanks and the equipping of a well field. In addition, the aqueduct is covered by the emergency decree of 2014 due to drought, which is why it has been approved by the National Emergency Commission.
The design proposes a line of impulsion of more than 8 km from the field of wells, near Lorena, up to Cerro Huacas. From there, there will be three different pipelines: one towards Playa Tamarindo, another towards Matapalo and Playa Grande and the third towards Brasilito, Playa Flamingo and Playa Potrero. This public-community alliance implies that AYA will build the infrastructure to take advantage of water from the Nimboyores aquifer and will provide it in blocks to the different ASADAS, according to an already established flow of regulation which will be verified. The Public Services Regulatory Authority (Aresep) will establish the charging rates.
There is scientific certainty that the Nimboyores aquifer has sufficient flow and stability for current and future demand and has a reserve. Thanks to hydrogeological studies, monthly monitoring and monitoring in real time. These studies are carried out by a commission composed by Senara, AYA and the Minae Water Directorate. The communities with ASADAS that will benefit from the project are: Llano, Huacas, La Garita, Lajas and Mangos, Lomas, La Josefina, Los Robles, Mar Vista Estate, Matapalo, Brasilito, Playa Grande, Playa Potrero, Surfside, Santa Rosa, Villa Real, Playa Tamarindo (partially supplied by AyA), Playa Flamingo (supplied by AyA).
Tourists coming to visit town often stop to our office and wonder why there's no more construction on the way, and why we are so short in inventory. Without water, there's no building permits that have been given in those areas since 2017 but now that water is coming in town, it is time to buy your dream lot before the aqueduct will be completed. We also hope to see new development starting in the next few years so we can see our small community grow and serve the high demand of condos and homes. We will keep you posted on the development of this huge project as time goes by. Stay tuned!
Posted June 2019