PCL summary of article posted here in its original Spanish: Gobierno prohibiría pozos en Guanacaste por 3 años
In an effort to help aquifers replenish their water supplies, the Costa Rican government is proposing a 3-year ban on drilling new water wells in Guanacaste due to drought conditions. During that timeframe, only wells deemed strategically appropriate by the government and drilled and managed by public institutions would be allowed. Farmers, hotel owners and the Association of Geologists are opposed to the proposal, fearing economic paralysis.
The executive decree has the support of MINAET (Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones) and is waiting for the approval and signature of the president.
According to IMN (Instituto Meteorológico Nacional) the drought conditions in Guanacaste are the worst in 78 years, and there is concern that unless the aquifers are given time to recover and fill with fresh water, salt water from the Pacific Ocean would move into the aquifers.
Those opposed to the decree claim that despite multiple requests beginning in November 2015 they have not been allowed to read a draft of the proposal, and they are concerned that the lack of transparency by MINAET and the government is concealing the fact that the effects of the restrictions have not been carefully examined, and that alternative ideas such as only restricting new wells in the coastal regions instead of in the entire province have not been considered.