Water Fund
Water Fund in Costa Rica Water Fund in Costa Rica © Gay Braasch

The Nature Conservancy in Costa Rica

Securing Water for Costa Rica

The Nature Conservancy and partners protect water sources in Costa Rica to ensure water security for 2.3 million people in the San José metropolitan area.

In May 2017, a public-private partnership of civil society, public institutions and private companies created Água Tica, the first water fund in Costa Rica. The fund´s objective is to contribute to water security in the Great San José Metropolitan Area (GAM), a key region where population growth, changes in land use and historic scarcity have affected water resources. Água Tica will benefit a total of 2.3 million people.

Water funds are an innovative conservation model based on broad partnerships that invest in natural (green) infrastructure. They also help integrate water management and the governance of water resources by securing long-term financing of conservation actions that ensure the health of rivers and watersheds. Água Tica is part of the Latin America Water Funds Partnership, created by The Nature Conservancy, the FEMSA Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Global Environment Facility.

The degradation of natural resources and changes in rain patterns made creating the fund a strategy that can ensure water provision to 57% of the population in Costa Rica. Among the actions the fund will finance are restoration, good agriculture practices, assisted and natural regeneration, agroforestry systems, forest protection activities, and environmental education.  

Água Tica will contribute to the protection of water resources in the sub-basins of the Grande and Virilla Rivers, which are part of the basin of the Grande de Tárcoles River, directly impacting the GAM and 75% of the country´s industry. The fund will also impact 33 cantons, 23 micro basins and nearly 164,000 hectares. Água Tica has seed funding of $200,000.