This work is the result of the research project titled Observatorio del Desarrollo Humano de la Región de Occidente: retos y perspectivas del recurso hídrico (Human development observatory in the Western Region: challenges and perspectives of hydric resources), number: 836-B3-024, inscribed in the University of Costa Rica’s Research Center on Cultural Diversity and Regional Studies (CIDICER).

Nowadays, the topic of hydric resources takes a protagonistic role in international agendas. The management and handling of this valued liquid establishes an urgent challenge that demands urgent attention and, before all else, a genuine compromise from the civil society and from the political class in charge of executing the decision making processes about this topic of fundamental relevance. 

The fundamental objective of this work is to offer a balance on availability, accessibility, and quality of the hydric resource with which the Western Region counts on, as well as proving the challenges which, in conjunction, local governments, water administrative institutions, and communities, have to guarantee enjoyment of this vital resource to future generations.

The document has been structured in five chapters; on the first one, the situation of the hydric resource is described in a global level, based on a series of figures emanated from international agencies; on the second one, a bibliographical balance is offered which highlights the primary contributions of diverse studies on the topic of hydric resources on a national level, and specifically, in the Western Region. In the third chapter, the availability of the hydric resource with which each canton of the region is further dug into, y and some considerations about the protection of water, specially in levels with springs, are proposed. The fourth chapter refers to the demand of the hydric resource for the development of activities, such as, watering crops, cattle raising, industry, trade, along with the derived demand of the growing population. The fifth section describes the hydric resource’s operational entities in the Western Region, putting emphasis on the role of the ASADAS in terms of water management and the problems regarding the quality of the resource they distribute. Lastly, some conclusions and recommendations derived from the study are presented.


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  • Maynor Badilla Vargas
  • William Solórzano Vargas