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Nicoya is First Canton with Real-Time Measuring System for Water Wells

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As of Thursday, July 23rd, three monitoring stations are collecting real-time information about water levels in wells located in the Chorotega Stadium, Hotel Jenny and one in front of the Colonial Church.

The Real-Time Groundwater Monitoring System (Simastir) was inaugurated by the Minister of Environment and Technology, Edgar Gutierrez, during his visit to Guanacaste for the Annexation celebration.

“We are going to have several monitoring systems, which will allow us (the Ministry) and the ASADAs commission to evaluate how the aquifer is being used with intelligence, with science and not with pretension or speculation,” the minister said.

Sandra Arredondo, project coordinator on behalf of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), specified that Nicoya is the first canton in Guanacaste to have the tool but estimated that by December, they will have 56 monitoring stations throughout the province.

“Aquifers have been selected to install equipment that can follow up on groundwater behavior in terms of water level variations, well depth and coastal aquifers to determine if there is a threat of salinization,” Arredondo explained.

The coordinator added that the program allows them to generate databases and water behavior trends, which could be influential when entities make decisions.

The information generated by the sensors is sent and displayed visually through a web page, which is planned to be functioning next year, so that anyone can check the behavior of the aquifers.

This system cost $2 million, invested by the MINAE Water Administration, the institution that will be the center of operations for Sismatir. However, they will also be connected to Senara and AyA.

To Jose Miguel Zeledon, director of the MINAE Water Administration, the greatness of the tool is that they will now have scientific certainty about what happens under the ground.

The intention is to roll out the monitoring system to the entire country, but which province will be the next to apply it has not yet been determined. 

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