Water crisis in El Salvador
A recent article by Nina Lakhani in the Guardian titled Living without water: the crisis pushing people out of El Salvador is an excellent summary of how a failure to comprehensively manage the precious resource of water in El Salvador threatens many in the country. As summarized in the article:
Years of drought has prompted water rationing in urban and rural areas across the country. Yet much is wasted: most rainwater is lost due to widespread deforestation and eroded river basins; once in the system, 48% of water is lost through leaks.
Sources are already running dry: the Nejapa aquifer provides 40% of the water used by the overcrowded capital, but the water level has shrunk by 20% in the past five years alone....
“There are no clear rules, no sanctions, no monitoring, and big business uses these legal vacuums to exploit water as a product for profit. It’s the poorest who suffer most."That article should be read in conjunction with Heather Gies' excellent overview of El Salvador's water crisis in National Geographic from November 2018 titled Once lush, El Salvador is dangerously close to running dry.
Meanwhile, new planned mega-projects like the urban area planned in Valle El Ángel threaten to speed up the depletion of underground water sources.
El Salvador's Environment Minister, Fernando López Larreynaga, appeared before a committee of the National Assembly in July to share the vision for water resources of the new government of Bukele. On the one hand, the minister declared the government's support for a general law of water in which human water consumption was given priority and water was managed by the state. On the other hand, López indicated that private business would be included in decisions and the development of a "neutral water policy." He also indicated that the environment ministry was making the environmental permitting process easier in order to encourage greater business investment in the country.