About this project

The communities of northern Costa Rica face diverse environmental problems, including the contamination of surface and groundwater bodies. In a country where one of the most important agroeconomic activities is the pineapple and sugar cane monoculture, its natural resources have been put under high pressure. The foregoing, together with a poorly controlled environmental management, has triggered changes in water quality and unrest in the surrounding communities.

Traditional long-term water quality monitoring is often criticized as being too expensive and in low-income regions, the cost can be prohibitive. The participation of citizen volunteers in scientific projects has proven to be an effective tool for reducing these costs, providing scientifically sound data and developing water management strategies.

With this project, our goal is to generate a robust database of water quality by involving citizens to collect information and store it in a free-access digital repository, give a diagnosis of the current state of water quality and create environmental awareness in local stakeholders for future management actions.


Financial support so far :

Goals and Objectives

Our goals:

To generate a robust water quality database for the northern region of Costa Rica.
To provide a diagnosis of the current state and assess potential sites with changes in water quality.
To raise citizens' environmental awareness in order to undertake future resources management actions.
Present our work to the international scientific community.

Our objectives:

To involve citizens in a collaborative water quality monitoring in order to gather information and store it in a freely accessible digital repository.  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2033924586640618
Analyze information on water quality and relate it to socio-economic and biophysical factors in the area.
Socialize the results in the surrounding communities.

Expected result

Generate a precedent that motivates to continue and replicate this initiative by other key actors for water and land management in Costa Rica, e.g. citizens, ASADAS, ONG´S, environmental groups and development associations.

Obtain a water quality baseline for different research projects.

Contribute to the Social Action and Research work carried out by the School of Geography -UCR -UCREA -OACG https://www.oacg.fcs.ucr.ac.cr/

Sustainable Development Goals
06. Clean water and sanitation 13. Climate action
About me / organisation
Alicia Correa, Melisa Mena, Sara Blanco, Rafael Quesada and Christian Birkel

Alicia Correa has a PhD in Natural Sciences and is interested in improving knowledge about the dynamic of water sources in tropical catchments and local development strategies.
Alicia is leading the project with the strategic support of Melisa Mena, Sara Blanco Rafael Quesada and Christian Birkel. All are researchers at the OACG, Geography department at the University of Costa Rica. The team is interested in different topics such as hydrological modelling, science communication, environmental perception, citizen science, water governance, socio-environmental interactions and their influence on the physical environment.

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