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Highlighting the importance and challenges of water in Central America

  • Róger Madrigal, coordinator of the Environment for Development Unit of CATIE, shared the main results of a team research effort in two academic events 

May 24, 2021. In rural and peri-urban areas of Central America, near 23,000 water community organizations provide water to 60 % of the population, contributing to achieve various Sustainable Development Goals, but mainly, the SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

Under this context and recognizing the importance of water, Róger Madrigal, Coordinator of the Environment for Development Unit (EfD CA), of CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) participated as speaker in two different virtual events, to share knowledge and results of his research studies.

The role of using volumetric pricing as key institutional feature for improved water management in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua was part of the information shared by Madrigal in the XVIII Biennial International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Conference “Our Commons Future”, held during the Water Commons sessions that took place from the 19th to the 21st of May, hosted by the Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.

“We found that volumetric pricing is associated with substantially more successful water delivery, even when conditioning on institutional capacity, scale of operation, socioeconomic, environmental and climatic conditions as well as country effects”, mentioned Madrigal about the results obtained on a study developed conjointly with EfD researchers Katrina Mullan, Eduardo Pacay, Subhrendu K Pattanayak and Juan Robalino.

Madrigal added that even though volumetric pricing seems to be more successful regarding water delivery, it is not widely adopted in the Central American countries, particularly in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The second event in which valuable information about water was shared was organized by the Chair on Economics of the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC, by its Spanish acronym), and it was held on May 24.

During his participation under the topic Development and Climate Change: Challenges of Water Management in Rural Areas of Costa Rica, Madrigal said that reducing water losses would be an effective way to increase the quantity of water available for the people, especially during long periods of droughts.

His dissertation focused on information about Costa Rica, but highlighted water challenges faced in other countries such as the reduction of water availability due climate change, the provision of enough water to deal with the actual COVID-19 crises and other global changes.

The participation of Madrigal in these two events as a speaker is a key role developed by EfD-Central America’s researchers, to communicate the results of scientific studies to different target groups as academics, university students, decision makers and other researchers.


More information:

Róger Madrigal
Environment for Development Unit
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Written by:

Marianela Argüello L.
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer
Environment for Development Unit
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