Who We Are
AguaVida is an established working laboratory situated in the heart of Guacimal at the Sustainability Demonstration Center, with the capabilities to do specific water quality tests, such as coliforms and nitrate testing, and conduct full bioindicator assessments using macroinvertebrates. We have the ability to conduct a comprehensive range of water quality testing, with the goal to provide certified, low-cost testing for communities. We also aim to emphasize educational components of water quality science through community inclusion of national students, educational opportunities for young international scientists, and further collaboration with national and international participants involved in defending community environmental rights.
Who We Support
One-third of the drinking water in Costa Rica is distributed by Asociaciones Administradoras de Agua (ASADAS), which are legal entities subscribed to Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AYA), the governing body that distributes the other two-thirds of water in Costa Rica. These ASADAs function as the water distribution body in rural areas of the country, and are completely volunteer-run organizations which follow the rules and regulations of AYA. All ASADAs are required to complete multiple mandatory water quality tests to prove that they are providing their community with clean potable water. These tests are very expensive, thus leading to both a lack of sufficient funding for ASADAs to defend community water rights. As communities face increasing threats of pollution as agribusiness and development projects grow, the ASADAs face decisions to choose between financing government-dictated testing or developing infrastructure to deliver the water.
AguaVida Laboratory is designed to provide accessible, low-cost water quality testing and scientific expertise for any citizen who needs help, to empower local ASADAs facing threats to water quality across Costa Rica, and to advocate for organizations fighting for their right to clean and sufficient water. Our goal is to facilitate community inclusion and open communication through enabling AguaVida to successfully provide scientific data in response to community-driven water quality and public health issues, thus enabling historically disempowered communities with the ability to defend themselves against pollution, development projects, and environmental abuses.