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Towards sustainable water resource management
- CATIE and SENARA signed a framework cooperation agreement to unify efforts in this area and benefit end users.
September 6 2021. Water is considered the most precious good of humanity, necessary to satisfy the basic needs of people, for good health, food production, energy and the maintenance of the planet's ecosystems. In this sense, and in order for Costa Rica to continue moving towards sustainable management of its water resources, on September 3, CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) and the National Groundwater, Irrigation and Drainage Service (SENARA, its Spanish acronym) signed a framework cooperation agreement.
The objective is to establish a mutual cooperation relationship, in the case of CATIE led by the Basins, Water Security and Soil Unit, to carry out studies, research and management processes in the field of water resources, based on the plans and programs of both institutions, which respond to the country's needs in this area.
"Between CATIE and SENARA we have common objectives, research, training and others, so it seems to us that this agreement is extremely strategic at the institutional level and will allow us to develop specific joint projects. For us, the issue of financing and the search for resources is crucial, because at the institutional level we have a large number of programs and initiatives identified, for example, hydrogeological studies, but they have not yet been developed because we do not have the international funding to implement them," said Patricia Quirós, general manager of SENARA, who also commented that these actions would be of interest and benefit to small and medium producers, local governments and decision makers at the national level.
The topics to be developed within the framework of the agreement are framed within the following guidelines:
- Geological, hydrogeological, soil and water quality research.
- Studies to determine the vulnerability, threat and risk of contamination of aquifers.
- Guidelines for water resource management and administration
- Local government water resource management plans
- Training on topics of interest
- Studies on irrigation, drainage and any other topic of interest to both institutions.
- Cooperation between both institutions to formulate proposals and search for funds for projects of interest to both.
Regarding the regions for research, the agreement indicates that the study areas will be defined within the national territory at the convenience of both parties and taking into account the country's context.
Muhammad Ibrahim, director general of CATIE, noted that the issue of water in many places will be of great importance, perhaps more so than carbon, because of its impact, in the short term, on livelihoods and its dependence for agriculture.
"We are aware of the excellent work SENARA is doing. Our idea of working together is to achieve more scaling and impacts, translating research results into impacts. This partnership is a good example of how institutions can complement each other," emphasized Ibrahim.
The Director General of CATIE, after signing the agreement between him and the General Manager of SENARA, proposed, as next steps, to make a plan that defines focal areas in which to work, according to the strengths of each institution and its importance for the country; as well as to seek joint resources, developing concept notes to apply to the Green Climate Fund and other instances.
The term of this agreement is for a period of five years. The institutional liaisons for SENARA will be Luis Fernando Coto, deputy general manager, and for CATIE, Laura Benegas, coordinator of the Watershed, Water Security and Soil Unit.
Watershed, Water Security and Soil Unit
Karla Salazar Leiva
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