We are in the beginning phase of working in the Guanacaste region in Costa Rica. Guanacaste is one of seven “provinces” and is home to more than 350,000 people. It is located in the northwestern part of the country bordering the Pacific Ocean to the west and Nicaragua to the north. It is one of the most biodiverse regions of the country with tropical forests, volcanoes, national parks, mountains and luxury beach resorts. Despite its great attraction to tourists, it is also the poorest region of the country.
Our project is located in the Rio Nosara watershed between the towns of Nosara and Hojancha. The approximately 30 communities in the watershed are rural and traditionally isolated from access to government services. Each community’s water supply system is overseen by a local water organization called an ASADA (Asociaciónes Administradora de Acueductos Rurales). These associations have an obligation to provide drinking water to the residents in the community and have a direct interest in protecting the streams, springs and water catchments in their areas. However, they lack basic resources, training and support needed to meet their responsibilities.
The government has only two engineers available to address the needs of the more than 300 ASADAS in the whole of Guanacaste. Many of the water systems of the rural communities in the Rio Nosara watershed were built without guidance and are in poor working condition. EWB Boston Professional’s engineers will begin by assessing the current conditions and capabilities of these water systems and develop recommendations for how the ASADAS can best address their present and future needs whilst protecting their natural resources.