11 August, 2022

After 15 years in discussion, deputies approve General Water Resources Law

Legislative Assembly approves General Law on Water Resources

After 15 años en discusión diputados aprueban Ley General de Recursos Hídricos

The new bill was introduced by President Nayib Bukele, the previous initiatives were sent at the beginning of the current legislature to the archive. Photo: Courtesy.

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

The Savior – The Legislative Assembly approved this Tuesday the General Law of Water Resources with the votes of 65 deputies of four parliamentary fractions of the six that the congress currently has.

According to the ruling party and with an absolute majority in the Assembly, This law guarantees the non-privatization of drinking water and sanitation as a human right and that the State will ensure the proper use of this resource, which was the main concern of various social sectors, academics and the country's churches.

Non-privatization is supported by a large number of articles that differentiate between domestic use of water and exploitation for commercial purposes.

It is determined that there will be a different fee for both cases, overexploitation of the resource is avoided and pollution by discharges in the different bodies of water is regulated.

The General Law of Water Resources, It was under discussion and without much progress for almost fifteen years as the majority parties in those legislatures did not reach agreements., ARENA and FMLN.

This time the legislative fractions of these political parties, now a minority in the Legislative Assembly, They did not give their votes to approve the law because they consider that it does not meet the expectations and interests of the so-called Water Boards by establishing charges for services and equating them with the exploitation of the private sector resource, among other signs.

The new regulation contains 179 articles that regulate the different edges that are related to the use and conservation of water.

The integral management of the resource will be in charge of the Salvadoran Water Authority (SO), as well as the establishment of rates for use and exploitation, and the fee for pouring (substances discharged into the different bodies of water that cause modification in their structure).

The ASA board of directors will be made up of a president director; a representative of the Ministry of the Environment (MARN), another from the Ministry of Agriculture (MAG), one of the Executive Hydroelectric Commission of the Lempa River (THE) and the Ministry of Tourism (JUVENILE).

There will also be representation from the Ministry of Housing (MIVI), Ministry of Health (MINSAL), Ministry of the Interior (MINGOB), Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Education (MINED), Ministry of Public Works (MOP), as well as the University of El Salvador (UES), of the Zonal Organisms of Cuenca and of civil society.

The endorsed law ensures equity by providing permits to exploit water for up to 15 years, both private companies and water boards.

The disposition and distribution of the vital liquid is guaranteed non-privatization and is supported by articles that establish a differentiation between the domestic use of water and the exploitation for commercial purposes..
Approval of the General Law of Water Resources in El Salvador.