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The Bilbao City Council and the Bilbao Bizkaia Water Consortium cooperate in water and sanitation with El Salvador and Costa Rica

30 October 2019

It is a triangular program of inter-institutional cooperation in water and sanitation between entities of Euskadi, El Salvador and Costa Rica. One of the objectives is to promote technical cooperation based on the principles of horizontality, consensus, equity and mutual benefit.

Technical staff and civil servants from El Salvador, Costa Rica and Euskadi met last week, from 21 to 25 October 2019 within the Inter-Institutional Program for Cooperation in Water and Sanitation. The objective of this meeting is to promote knowledge management and the strengthening of technical capabilities in the operational management of water treatment plants.

In the meetings and visits, an official from the National Administration of Aqueducts and Sewers (ANDA) of El Salvador and the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Alcantarillador (AYA) and from Euskadi, an official and technical staff of the Water Consortium of Bilbao-Bizkaia and the Basque Water Agency (URA) with the accompaniment of the Bilbao City Council.

The program was launched in June 2018 and so far, 8 meetings have been held. In addition to the aforementioned entities, the Basque Agency for Development Cooperation, the Provincial Council of Álava, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, the City Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the City Council of Bilbao and Euskal Fondoa-Association of Basque cooperating local entities participate.

It is a pioneering initiative since in a triangular way Euskadi, El Salvador and Costa Rica are collaborating in the exchange of experiences and good practices, and are developing training and technical cooperation actions. In this way, technical cooperation based on the principles of horizontality, consensus, equity and mutual benefit is being promoted.

Objective of the initiative

The objective of this initiative, born of the agreement within the Interinstitutional Commission for Development Cooperation of Euskadi, is twofold. On the one hand, it seeks to contribute to guaranteeing the human right to water and sanitation of the population in some of the poorest municipalities of El Salvador; and, on the other, it is proposed to strengthen the management and improvement capacities of water and sanitation services coverage in Costa Rica and El Salvador, through technical cooperation modalities.

With the visit made by the technical staff of the Water Supply and Sanitation Services of El Salvador and Costa Rica, collaboration ties have been strengthened. During the past week, visits have been made to the Venta Alta water treatment plant, to the Galindo wastewater treatment plant, as well as to the laboratories of the same station. They have had the opportunity to know first-hand supply networks, the Etxebarri pilot plant, pumping and control systems, sludge control, incineration and cogeneration systems, etc.