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Framework Law

The main law applicable to water resources management, which covers all of the following areas: administration; management, conservation and use of freshwater resources; water rights; waterworks; water supply

Constitutional provisions

Date of text: 28 September 2008

Right to water: The Constitution recognizes the right to water. The human right to water is essential and cannot be waived. Water constitutes a national strategic asset for use by the public and it is unalienable, not subject to a statute of limitations, immune from seizure and essential for life (Art. 12) Health is a right guaranteed by the State and whose fulfillment is linked to the exercise of other rights, among which the right to water, food, education, sports, work, social security, healthy environments and others that support the good way of living (Art. 32). The right to a decent life that ensures health, food and nutrition, clean water, housing, environmental sanitation, education, work, employment, rest and leisure, sports, clothing, social security and other necessary social services is a right for all (Art. 66).

Natural resources: The State will constitute public companies for the management of strategic sectors, supply of public services, exploitation of sustainable natural resources or public goods and the development of any other economic activity. Non-renewable natural resources belong to the inalienable heritage of the State. The State will prioritize conservation of nature, minimizing the negative impacts of environmental, cultural and socio-economic issues. Further Article 318 sets forth that water is part of the country's strategic heritage for public use; it is the unalienable property of the State and is not subject to a statute of limitations. It is a vital element for nature and human existence. Any form of water privatization is forbidden Art.318)

Agriculture

Water used for irrigation, forestry and aquaculture

Water Supply and Sanitation

Provision of water services by public utilities or commercial organizations; water supply for domestic, industrial or other purposes; right to safe and clean drinking water and basic sanitation; quality of piped water; sewerage
Date of text: 14 December 2006

Governance

The political, social, economic and administrative systems that govern water management and conservation; good practices; good governance; decentralization; water user’s associations
Date of original text: 23 March 1960 (2008)

Infrastructure

Waterworks; water supply systems; dams; hydropower systems; irrigation systems

Water Resources Management and Water Rights

Ownership and control of water resources; abstraction and diversion of water; allocation and quotas; riparian rights; priority of rights; free water use

Water and Environment

Water in environmentally-sensitive areas; ‘water demand’ by ecosystems; protection forests; water conservation zones; environmental impact assessment

Water Quality and Pollution Control

Control of pollution and quality of freshwater bodies and groundwater; agricultural point and non-point sources of pollution; water quality standards
Date of original text: 23 March 1960 (2008)

Groundwater

Freshwater resources located below the surface of the earth; aquifers; groundwater abstraction; well-sinking; boreholes; hydrogeology

Disaster Resilience

Water-related hazards; flood; drought; water shortage; adaptation to climate change; early warning system/emergency intervention system