Canal project to increase irrigated land in Guanacaste

Some farmers in Guanacaste are not affected by the drought. They are the beneficiaries of an irrigation system that take water mostly from Lake Arenal and transports it via canal to waiting crops.

The first canal went into service in 1983. A second canal followed, and now an offshoot of the original 8.5 kilometer (5.25-mile) system is taking shape.

This is a 33-kilometer (20.5-mile) extension that will service 8,800 hectares (almost 22,000 acres) in the Distrito de Colorado, Cañas and Abangares. The cost is about 8.5 trillion colons or about $16 million.

The money comes from a loan from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica.
The irrigation network is operated by the Distrito de Riego Arenal Tempisque.

The new project is expected to be finished by the end of the year and in operation by the start of 2016. The land involved is west of the Interamericana Norte and mostly north of the access road to the Puente de Amistad.

The project was in the news Wednesday because President Luis Guillermo Solís visited the canal as part of his pre-July 25 tour of the province.

The  Servicio Nacional de Agua Subterráneas, Riego y Avenamiento is supervising the project. There are six other projects also planned with the same development bank loan.

The 33-kilometer project has been in planning for years.

Landowners who begin to receive water from the project will see an immediate jump in the value of their property. Rice, a major crop in the area, requires a lot of water.canal072315

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