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Integrated Water Resources Management in a micro-basin scale

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment Conference Proceedings, 21-24 February 2010, Universidad EARTH, Costa Rica  701P0210cd.(doi:10.13031/2013.29454)
Authors:   Astorga E Yamileth
Keywords:   River Basin Management, social and participative strategy

Costa Rica is located in a tropical humid zone. There is a conception that the water is unlimited resource. The main urbanization and tourism growth it has being done, where low amount of water is available. Additionally, in the last fifteen years, because of over-exploitation of water bodies and pollution, this availability of water has being coming down. As results, there is an increasing of social conflicts in the whole country. Because that the geographical logical unit to manage the water is at the river basin scale, the Integrated Environmental Management Programmed of the University of Costa Rica, agree to take the water as the integral resource of natural and social dynamics and the basin as the level to generate social and research process. The strategy applied is to work mainly at the micro-basin scale. The first step is to characterize the micro-basin with biophysical and socio-economical characteristics. The second step is, after the identification of all key stakeholders, to have a workshop to identify the main environmental problems, the cause of the problems and to have a discussion and definition of the main solutions for the problems. The last point of the workshop is the constitution of a join group to start working at the basin level. The third step is to have a meeting with the group in order to define the mechanism of working as a basin group and the development of an annual working plan. The role of the university in this process is as facilitator and catalyst of the organization of the group and as scientific and technical assessor. The fourth step is the establishment of the physical chemical and biological monitoring of the main water resources along the basin and the development of research and technology on looking for solutions to the problems. This strategy has being applied in four river basins of the country. In all these basins, there is a constituted group working together.

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