Tag Archives: Costa Rica

Costa Rica: Govt developing US$270mn wastewater treatment plan

Costa Rica’s state water utility AyA will invest US$270mn to start treating the 2,800l/s of wastewater currently produced in the greater metropolitan area in and around capital San José, local paper La Nación reported.

The project involves the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the sewerage networks in nine municipalities in San José and one in Cartago province. A total of 360km of secondary pipelines will be installed and four trunk sewers will be repaired.

A wastewater treatment plant will also be built in the La Uruca municipality.

A US$17.4mn tender to carry out studies and draw up the master plan for the underground network was awarded to a consortium formed by Japanese NJS and the French firm Sogreah on January 22.

Pending contracts include the construction of the underground network and for the wastewater treatment plant. Two Spanish firms and a French firm are participating in the tender process to build the plant, the report said.

The initiative is being financed with a US$130mn loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Another US$140mn will be provided from the country’s own resources.

Upon completion in 2015, wastewater produced by the 1mn people living in the San José municipalities of Desamparados, Goicoechea, Alajuelita, Vázquez de Coronado, Tibás, Moravia, Montes de Oca, Curridabat and Central will be treated. La Unión municipality will also benefit.

Currently, wastewater from these municipalities is disposed of without treatment in the rivers Torres, María Aguilar, Rivera and Tiribí.

Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 25 Jan 2010

Right to sanitation: UN independent expert’s report to be presented in September

Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque

Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque

A report outlining the human rights obligations related to sanitation will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2009. Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque wrote the report in July as part of her duties as Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

In her report De Albuquerque supports the recognition of sanitation as a distinct right. “The inextricable links between sanitation and so many human rights mean that international human rights law requires States to ensure access to sanitation that is safe, hygienic, secure, affordable, socially and culturally acceptable, provides privacy and ensures dignity in a non discriminatory manner”, she concludes. “However, only looking at sanitation through the lens of other human rights does not do justice to its special nature, and its importance for living a dignified life”, she adds.

In 2009, Ms. De Albuquerque has chosen to focus on the human rights obligations related to sanitation. She held an expert consultation, and a public consultation, to inform her work on this issue in April. As a follow up to that meeting the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) published a position statement in which they voiced their support for the recognition of “sanitation as a stand alone right apart from the right to water.”

In March and June2009, Catarina de Albuquerque visited Costa Rica and Egypt respectively, to assess the how these countries were implementing their human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Ms de Albuquerque encourage the Egyptian Government in particular to give priority to sanitation in all unserved, or underserved areas, including rural areas as well as informal settlements. She welcomed the government’s the rural sanitation strategy which calls for a 20 billion Egyptian pounds (approximately 4 billion US dollars) investment in rural sanitation.

Costa Rica: Congress approves bill to exempt wastewater treatment plants from taxes

The special environment commission of Costa Rica’s legislative assembly approved a bill exempting wastewater treatment plants from paying taxes as a means to mitigate contamination and improve the quality of national water resources. The bill also declares wastewater treatment “a matter of national interest.”

Implementation of the bill is being coordinated by the finance ministry and Costa Rican aqueducts and sewerage institute AyA.

Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 30 Jun 2008

Costa Rica: Only 3.5% of wastewater treated before discharged into rivers

Only 3.5% of Costa Rica’s wastewater is treated before being discharged into the country’s rivers, water utility AyA chairman Ricardo Sancho said. Costa Rica has only five operating wastewater treatment plants, which can only serve one-third of the population. The San Isidro treatment plant, in Choluteca municipality, has collapsed while Limón province only has a sea outfall pipe.

Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 7 Apr 2008