Paying landowners for water-resource protection

Costa Rica

Costa Rica plans a major boost in water rates to pay for watershed conservation under an innovative decree now awaiting the signature of President Abel Pacheco. The decree would raise water rates over a seven-year period by differing amounts, with the largest increases affecting industries that tap aquifers and the smallest affecting surface-water users such as the country’s hydroelectric power companies. New income generated by the charges—an estimated US$25 million annually by the seventh year—would be used in part to make environmental-services payments to private landowners who conserve their land along rivers, around springs and in aquifer-recharge zones. It also would be used to shore up the budget of Costa Rica’s Environment and Energy Ministry (Minae), double funding... [Log in to read more]

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