Around the world, the continuous growth of cities puts pressure on the environment and particularly on water resources; it is estimated that 80 per cent of wastewater is released into the environment without adequate treatment. With two thirds of the world’s population living in severe water scarcity at least one month per year, it is vital to manage water resources in a sustainable manner.
In Costa Rica’s Great San José Metropolitan Area (GAM), water resources are threatened by urban growth, climate change and environmental degradation. This incited environmental NGO Fundecor to cocreate Agua Tica, the country’s first dedicated water fund dedicated to water conversation, as an alliance of civil society, government institutions and private companies. Selected as one of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Global Best Practices, Agua Tica prioritises public-private investment projects to conserve and secure water resources in areas where they are threatened.
The fund finances a range of inclusive green infrastructure projects including the restoration of ecosystems, the implementation of good agricultural practices, the regeneration of biodiversity, as well as the promotion of agroforestry systems. Agua Tica’s activities contribute to the protection of the sub watersheds of the Grande and Virilla Rivers, an area that accounts for 57% of Costa Rica’s population and its industrial centre. A total of 603 million cubic metres of water has been returned to nature by Agua Tica’s projects, benefiting the environment and protecting the water security of 1.9 million people. With water stress and pollution being a growing challenge around the globe, the reproduction of such sustainable and proactive initiatives will be essential to secure water supplies in the future.
The Expo 2020 Dubai Innovation Series is a weekly blog series highlighting some of the creative and world-changing innovations that are being showcased via Expo 2020 Dubai’s programmes and pavilions.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing and regulating World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.