San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tax exemption to increase cash flow for rural water systems

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias signed into law a tax exemption for the Administrative Associations of Rural Aqueducts (ASADAS) on Wednesday in hopes of freeing up infrastructure money for rural aqueducts.

Representatives of the ASADAS said the exoneration will free up ¢78 million (over $133,000) per month.

The money accounts for about 13 percent of the funds the ASADAS have historically spent on purchases and repairs. Operators will use the extra income to buy tubes, meters, pumps, concrete and other accessories.

There are approximately 1,850 ASADAS that supply water to about 1.2 million people in Cost Rica. Most of the nation´s rural areas are supplied by these small associations.

At a press conference Wednesday, rural aqueduct operators said they have been squeezed lately with maintaining tubes that span from one house to the next. In some rural areas, supply lines can stretch up to two kilometers between houses over steep terrain.

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