The Municipality of Nicoya

The Municipality of Nicoya

Nicoya is a Costa Rican municipality in the district of Nicoya, located in the province of Guanacaste. This district covers 1,333 km². The city of Nicoya has existed since precolonial times when it was inhabited by the Chorotega indigenous group. It is one of the most important tourist areas in the country and is a transportation hub for the people who travel to Guanacaste’s beaches and national parks. Nicoya is located 204 kilometers northwest of San Jose en route to Tempisque. A local government manages the city and is in charge of developing land use plans, creating guidelines outside of national protected areas, providing frameworks for water management and regulating other government and non-government institutions in the region.


Web Site:

Contact Information: Elizabeth Fernández |

National University of Costa Rica – Chorotega Regional Campus

National University of Costa Rica

The National University of Costa Rica (UNA) is the second oldest university in the country and one of the most respected higher education institutions in Costa Rica. The history of the National University tracks back to the creation of the Normal School at the beginning of the 20th century. The institution was granted university status and its current name in 1973. Since its foundation the national nature of the UNA is evidenced by its presence in different geographic areas of the country. The university has five campuses in different regions: Liberia, Nicoya, Pérez Zeledón, Coto Brus y Sarapiquí. Campuses are decentralized university cores where the UNA promotes, coordinates and develops programs in the region according to regional and national development needs. The university campuses are clustered in three regional divisions: Chorotega, Central, y Huetar Norte y Caribe. The Chorotega regional division, comprising Nicoya and Liberia Campus, is located in the northwest of Costa Rica and it is one of the partners of the FuturAgua project.


Web site: UNA, Chorotega Campus

Contact Information: Ricardo Morataya, Professor |

Nicoyagua Foundation

Nicoyagua Foundation

For over 12 years, The Nicoyagua Foundation has been working on water issues around Nicoya city. The foundation regularly carries out environmental education programs, engagement with decision makers, and is involved in the purchase or land in an upper basin of the watershed that is crucial for water harvest and provision in the city itself. The members of the Nicoyagua Foundation belong to different organizations such as the chamber of Commerce, the National University of Costa Rica, the rural community administrators of water supply (ASADAS), the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications, a large agroindustrial company and other people concerned with water quality, supply and conservation.


Contact information: Nelson Gamboa |

Tempisque Conservation Area

Tempisque Conservation Area

The Tempisque Conservation Area is a geographic unit, managed by the SINA (National System of Conservation Areas) and located in the Nicoya Peninsula. This is an area of large topographic diversity ranging from sea level to 1,018m (Cerro Azul). The Tempisque Conservation Area is responsible for the protection of two Tempisque River basins, as well as several knolls and hills in the Nicoya Peninsula. The area also protects marine biodiversity, wildlife, hydrological systems, tropical dry forest, water sources, natural sources, water fowl habitats, wetlands, turtle nesting and shoreline area, among others. The total extension of the Tempisque Conservation Area is 555,000 hectares. It encompasses a population of 160,000 residents, eight municipalities and 34 districts. It is located in the northwestern of Costa Rica, like the Guanacaste Conservation Area. This area includes the entire Nicoya peninsula.



Web site:

Contact Infomation: Carlos Calvo Sanabria,

ASADAS Aqueduct and Sewer Systems Management Associations

The Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewage Systems (AyA) is the governmental entity responsible for managing the aqueduct and sewer system in Costa Rica. In November 2000, through the act 29100-S, the government allowed AyA to delegate the management of these systems to local community associations. This associations popularly known as ASADAS (for their name in Spanish) are created by committees of neighbors that are interested in the construction of aqueduct and sewage infrastructure in their regions. The process for establishing an ASADA requires holding an assembly with all the potential users of the system. In this assembly the participants must establish the constitutive statutes and a board of directors. They also must adopt an agreement to request the AyA the delegation of the aqueduct and sewage management, operation and funding. Currently, there are more than 1500 ASADAS in operation. They supply water for more than 30% of the Costa Rican population.

Potrero and Caimital River Watershed Management Commission

The commission assists the appropriate management of socio-environmental resources in the Potrero and Caimital rivers’ watershed. Through the recovery of water equilibrium the commission strives for the continuous improvement of water quantity and quality in this watershed. This commission was created in 1999, in response to a workshop held by the Ministry of Environment and Energy where the main problems of the area were discussed. In this meeting the improvement of the Potrero river watershed was identified as a priority because this watershed supplies water to Nicoya and Hojancha. This commission developed the management plan for the Potrero river watershed. The plan is a guide for land use regulation, environmental balance and optimization of agricultural and socio productive activities in the communities surrounding the watershed. The commission is part of the Freshwater Action Network in Central America (FAN-CA) which is a network of non-governmental organizations involved in water management in different countries of Central America. The members of the commission are residents of the surrounding communities and local institutional actors in the public and private sector.


Web site:

Contact Information: Xinia Campos

ASCAGANI (Chamber of Livestock Farmers from Nicoya)

The Chamber of Livestock Farmers from Nicoya (ASCAGANI) is an union association that promotes, supports and guides the transformation of the cattle production through the provision of services such as technical assistance, training, production support through the sale of specialized inputs, management and implementation of technical/productive projects, and support for the application for payment for environmental services, among other activities. His vision is holistic and involves the capacity building of livestock farmers to facilitate an impact on their quality of life. In addition, the Chamber of Livestock Farmers from Nicoya serves as a link to disseminate technical information produced in the agricultural sector ministries among their associates with outreach materials distributed at their offices or through meetings.


Sitio web:

Datos de contacto: Leonor Ruíz Pérez |