Water Resources: Draft Bill in El Salvador

The draft bill called "General Law of Water Resources" was submitted to the Legislative Assembly, a legal framework that would empower the Salvadoran Water Authority to authorize the use of water to sub-sectors, state entities and private entities.

Monday, June 21, 2021

In order to benefit the Salvadoran population, the Minister of Environment, Fernando Lopez, delivered to the President of the new Legislative Assembly, Ernesto Castro, the preliminary draft of the General Law of Water Resources, informed the Assembly on June 19.

President Castro anticipated that he will form an Ad hoc Commission to study only and exclusively this bill, with a maximum term of three months.

According to the legislative body, the document submitted to the Legislative Assembly includes three fundamental axes as regulations:

1. Water as a fundamental right for all.
2. The State will guarantee the good use of the resource.
3. Water will not be privatized, under any circumstances or in any form.

If this bill is approved, the Salvadoran Water Authority (ASA) will be created as an autonomous body attached to the Executive through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), which will elaborate the national water management plan, give authorizations, approve fees, and solve water conflicts.

The ASA may authorize private individuals to use or exploit water, including thermal waters, in any quantity for a term of up to 15 years for 473,040 cubic meters per year or more; or up to 5 years for less than that amount of water. Authorizations may be renewed if they meet the conditions. They will pay a fee. They may be suspended in the public interest.

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