Protecting Freshwater Sources

Blue lakes of crystal-clear water in Santurbán

Blue lakes of crystal-clear water in Santurbán. | Credit: Alberto Peña Kay / AIDA.

Hiding the trash under the carpet does not mean you’ve cleaned, not in terms of the economy and certainly not in terms of mining.
The Tárcoles River in Costa Rica

The Tárcoles River in Costa Rica.| Credit: Eflon/Creative Commons.

There are two main reasons for the excessive contamination of the large river: increasing urbanization and government bureaucracy. The river is used as a city sewer, receiving the equivalent of 100 Olympic swimming pools of untreated water, according to the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers.
Bottled water

80 percent of the Mexican population as distrustful of the water supply system. Credit: Philografy/Flickr/Creative Commons.

Mexico consumes 12 percent of the global volume of bottled water, highlighting the failures of the country’s water supply system and the violation of a basic human right.
The Canadian company’s Angostura mining project in the high-altitude wetlands, or páramo, of Santurbán, has announced that it could file an international arbitration suit against Colombia over measures to protect the páramo, which are important sources of water in the country.Read more
Colombia’s Constitutional Court on Monday declared unconstitutional an aspect of the country’s National Development Plan that permitted mining in páramos.Read more
In a hearing before the Commission, advocates explained how extractive activities, especially mining and energy projects, restrict individual and community water use. They also documented the failure of states to protect the right to water.Read more
They highlight the application of the precautionary principle in the resolution to suspend spraying, and pledge to stay alert to the threat posed by the potential manual use of glyphosate or its replacement with another chemical.Read more
Environmental organizations condemn attacks on the environment made in the Colombian departments of Putumayo, Nariño, Arauca, Boyacá and Norte de Santander, which have been attributed to FARC-EP.Read more
Plan Colombia: Aerial Spraying in Colombia

In 2000, the governments of Colombia and the United States launched Plan Colombia, a program designed to destroy coca and poppy crops cultivated to produce cocaine and heroin. The multimillion-dollar program involves the repeated spraying of highly concentrated glyphosate and other...

The Santurbán páramo

The Santurbán páramo. Credit: Jorge Sánchez Latorre.

In the Andean region, high-altitude forests and wetlands called páramos capture water from fog and supply it to lowlands. In Colombia, nearly two million people rely on the Santurbán páramo for their freshwater supply.

Healthy páramos also capture large amounts of carbon,...