The Municipality of Abangares is working on renovating the municipal aqueduct’s infrastructure for the canton in order to guarantee the people of Las Juntas uninterrupted drinking water service. The work is possible through financing granted by the Institute of Municipal Development and Consultation (IFAM- Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal)
In both the dry and rainy seasons, the Abangares community faced constant water shutoffs, either due to water supply shortages or due to damages during heavy rains.
The most critical problems are a thing of the past thanks to ₡1,374,000,000 ($2,174,000) in financing from IFAM. So far, the institution has invested ₡745.5 million ($1,179,000) and is about to invest the remaining ₡628.8 million ($995,000).
Between 2018 and 2019, they succeeded in replacing the pipeline that carries water from its source in the canton’s mountains to the plant, as well as the distribution line that transports the water to houses in the community.
Residents also have a new distribution tank with a capacity of 600 cubic meters (158,500 gallons), improvements to the existing tank and new water disinfection equipment.
The project has benefited not only Las Juntas, but also other districts in the canton of Abangares.
We collaborate with other communities that aren’t direct users of the municipal aqueduct,” explained the environmental manager of the Municipality of Abangares, Jose Francisco Bogantes. “We support the other systems with two or even three cisterns a day, especially in the dry season,” he added.
To IFAM and the local government, transforming the infrastructure was essential since it was 35 years old and the service was constantly interrupted. “It was affected by landslides, disconnections and it was built with material that is no longer used,” explained IFAM engineer Arturo Herrera.
When something was broken, the plant would run out of water in about 15 to 30 minutes. “So [it wasn’t solved] until the plumbers went to the mountain and repaired the pipe,” he said.
With these improvements, they anticipate that Abangares will have enough water of suitable quality for the next 15 years, taking into account both the current and future population demand, based on data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC- Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos).
“This is a process that allows us to guarantee, as far as possible, a resource that is vital,” emphasized Bogantes, from the local government. “Water is and always will be indispensable in human life and we have to guarantee that society has it,” he added.
In the new phase, IFAM will work toward improving the municipal aqueduct’s response to dirty water in its main source, which is the Aguas Claras river. That way, the community won’t be without water service when there are heavy rains, which is currently the case.
To achieve this, they’ll drill a well about 45 meters deep. When the plant can’t handle the level of dirtiness from the Aguas Claras river, the well will inject water into the storage tank or the distribution network, the IFAM engineer explained.
That way, people who are hooked up to the municipal aqueduct of Abangares will be guaranteed quality, quantity and continuity of public service.
“We hope that this will improve the population’s quality of life and that there will be more capacity for developing economic activities in the canton, that there will be more people who want to move there and develop businesses, because nothing can be done without water,” Herrera commented. In total, the aqueduct benefits 18,000 Abangares residents.