San Salvador, February 6th, 2020
The different sectors of civil society and the popular organizations hereby represented recognize water as a source of life and a public good, whose access constitutes a fundamental human right of humanity. We also recognize that without sufficient and good quality of water, and without a comprehensive watershed management approach, it will not be possible to develop our country for the well-being for our population. Consequently, we believe it is the State's obligation to guarantee access to this vital resource in an equitable, efficient and sustainable manner.
The dramatic water crisis in El Salvador, in terms of equal access of quality and quantity, is widely recognized and scientifically documented. However, the lack of progress in the discussion on a General Water Law in the Environment and Climate Change Commission in the last thirteen years has condemned our population to suffer the increasingly serious consequences generated by the lack of good governance of our common goods.
In this context, we welcome with satisfaction the decision taken by the current Environment and Climate Change Commission, in January 2020, to reopen the legislative debate on this urgent law.
However, we are appalled at the decision to start from scratch, once again, annulling the important agreements and progress made in 2013-2015 by the sitting Commission. Faced with this situation, the undersigned organizations, who have been calling in a proactive and rigorous way since 2006 for adequate legislation for the management of water in El Salvador, have united around our CITIZEN PROPOSAL of the General water Law.
The proposal contains of three elements:
- The articles approved by the Committee on the Environment and Climate Change between 2013 and 2015;
- A modified and widely agreed-upon proposal for the water management authority with a public nature
- And, other articles of the 2012 MARN proposal where the principles of water as a common good and a human right, citizen participation and watershed management approach are key.
We ask for your serious consideration and prompt approval as the first step in the fight to remedy the current water crisis, to protect our environment, guarantee the health and well-being of our population, and promote sustainable development in our nation.
Based on article 18 of the Constitution of the Republic, and on the legislative initiatives of the deputies that they support, we request this Honorable Legislative Assembly to admit and discuss our proposal both in the Environment and Climate Change Committee, and in the Legislative Plenary.