Water shortages and constant rationing in the city of Nicoya will decrease with the construction of two new water wells made by the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA), which aims to ensure drinking water for Nicoyans for the next 30 years.
The project consists of building two wells capable of producing between 25 and 30 liters per second to reinforce existing wells. A storage tank with a capacity of 4,000 cubic meters will also be built.
The initiative has been in the works since 2011. However, permits were not issued until November of 2015 so the work started last January. The project is funded by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) in the amount of ¢1.16 billion ($2.2 million).
Sebastian Vega, from AyA’s engineering department, pointed out that the improvements were necessary due to the harsh drought and the rationing that has been required to face the shortage.
“The project consists of two pumping stations that are expected to feed the storage tank to produce more intended to meet the community of Nicoya’s need for water for the next 30 years. So far, there is no storage tank that has sufficient capacity. We are talking about short and long term,” Vega said.
The wells were built in the Varillal sector in the area of Curime, and the tank will be built on the slopes of the La Cruz hill by Proyectos Turbina S.A. The project requires laying 2,500 meters (8,200 feet or 1.55 miles) of pipeline to connect the wells to the tank.
The communities of the central district that will be served by the new wells are the El Carmen neighborhood, Chorotega, La Cananga, San Martin, La Mata Buey, Casitas, La Virginia, Guadalupe, La Granja, the Los Angeles neighborhood, Hondores, Curime, Caimital, Santa Lucia and San Ambrosio.
The improvements to the aqueduct will allow increased water production, storage capacity and increased distribution capacity. Because the water will be transported by the force of gravity and not by pumping, it will save electricity. Around 31,800 people are supplied by the Nicoya aqueduct.
Trees Chopped Down Due to Aqueduct Were Donated to CTP and Neighbors
The lot where this aqueduct is being built was owned by the Nicoya Professional Technical College (CTP- Colegio Técnico Profesional)., AyA paid approximately ¢30 million (about $57,000).
Rodrigo Infante, from AyA’s engineering administration, clarified that it was necessary to chop down trees on the site where the tank will be built. Planning for the project took into account the point of view of environmental engineering so the project will be sustainable.
“This was coordinated with SINAC (National System of Conservation Areas) because once the tank project is completed, a compensatory process is undertaken to restore vegetation with native plants from the area,” said Infante.
The wood that was cut down in this part of the forest was donated to neighbors who made their request in writing. The Nicoya CTP received 33 trees that were formally requested. This type of wood is generally used to make posts for fencing paddocks and quadrants or for firewood.
At the moment, the company in charge is using its machinery to prepare a level building site. Work is expected to be completed by December of this year.