Construction of coastal aqueduct of Santa Cruz begins

Written by Tamarindo News

By: Tamarindo News Staff   Photo by: Mauricio Mora

  • Work will benefit 50,000 people, with an investment of ¢ 8,000 million and will take advantage of the Nimboyores aquifer resource
  • Aqueduct is fostered along with 12 ASADAS
  • Authorities confirm that the project has completed all the necessary technical and environmental studies

It has been well known for years, that there’s a need to have appropriate infrastructure to carry the required water to an area of great growth such as the coastal area of Santa Cruz canton.

Community organizations, through the Rural Aqueduct Associations (ASADAS) and governing institutions such as the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA), among others, have developed action plans to carry out work that will bring water to the coastal area. As a result, this will help relieve pressure on local aquifers due to the current proliferation of wells, especially illegal ones, that compromise the future availability of water resources.

Weeks ago, construction work began on the coastal aqueduct in Santa Cruz, which, according to AyA, will benefit 50,000 people by taking advantage of the water from the Nimboyores aquifer that will supply the canton communities located closest to the sea. The wells in these areas suffer high vulnerability due to drought and saline intrusion.

The construction cost of this strategic work is estimated at ¢ 8,000 million. The first stage, which involves the placement of the first meters of pipe, has already begun.

The project is promoted jointly between the AyA and the ASADAS who signed a public-community alliance of construction, administration, maintenance and operation, on July 24. This came as a result of the joint efforts and dialogue maintained between both parties since 2014.

The aqueduct will have 38 km of pipes and four storage tanks. The purchase of land for the latter and equipment for a well field is completed.

This is one of the 52 projects of the Comprehensive Water Supply Program for Guanacaste (PIAAG). In addition, the aqueduct is covered by the Emergency Decree of 2014 which came about because of the drought and was approved by the National Emergency Commission.

The first stage of the Santa Cruz coastal aqueduct project, which uses wells already drilled, will provide 60 liters per second of water, while a second stage would allow it to be used up to a maximum of 172 liters per second.

The design proposes impulse line of more than 8 km from the field of wells, near Lorena, up to Cerro Huacas. From there, three different pipes will come out: one to Tamarindo, another to Matapalo and Playa Grande and the third to Brasilito, Flamingo and Potrero.

This public-community alliance implies that AyA will build the infrastructure to take advantage of the Nimboyores aquifer water and will provide it in bulk to the different ASADAS, according to an already-established flow. That will be verified thanks to the installation of 14 macro-meters.

The Regulatory Authority of Public Services (ARESEP) will establish the prices for this supply.

AyA explained that there is scientific certainty that the Nimboyores aquifer has sufficient flow and stability for current and future demands, as well maintaining a reserve, thanks to hydrogeological studies, monthly and real-time monitoring. These studies are in the charge of the Inter-institutional Technical Committee for the Management of Aquifers (made up by the National Irrigation and Drainage Service (SENARA), AyA and the Water Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE).

The new aqueduct is promoted by the Commission for the Sustainable Management of the Nimboyores Aquifer and the Coastal Region (CONIMBOCO), a group that brings together AyA and other public institutions, the ASADAS, the private sector and the academy, to protect water and promote a comprehensive management plan and use of the aquifer.

The first phase of the aqueduct is scheduled to be finished in the second quarter of 2018.

Some of the ASADAS that will benefit are:

  • El Llano
  • Huacas
  • La Garita, Lajas y Mangos
  • Lomas, La Josefina y Los Robles (has not signed the alliance)
  • Mar Vista Estate
  • Matapalo
  • Playa Brasilito
  • Playa Grande
  • Playa Potrero
  • Santa Rosa
  • Surfside
  • Villareal
  • Tamarindo (supplied by one ASADA and AyA)
  • Flamingo (supplied by AyA)

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