Senate will vote on Wednesday to reform the Water Code after approval in the Chamber

Senate will vote on Wednesday to reform the Water Code after approval in the Chamber

The Senate will vote on Wednesday the report of the Mixed Commission on the reform of the Water Code, approved yesterday by the Chamber of Deputies and Deputies – after 11 years of discussion in Congress – with 129 votes in favor, two against and two abstentions.

The proposal declares the waters, in any of its states, as “national assets for public use.” Consequently, its domain and use belongs to all the inhabitants of the nation.

Depending on the public interest, rights of use over the waters will be constituted, which may be limited in their exercise, in accordance with the provisions of this Code.

It specifies that access to drinking water and sanitation is an essential and inalienable human right that must be guaranteed by the State. Likewise, it details that glacier exploitation rights may not be constituted.

In addition, the text emphasizes that the waters fulfill various functions, mainly those of subsistence. These include use for human consumption, sanitation, and subsistence domestic use. Similarly, there are the ecosystem preservation and productive functions.

In this context, it is emphasized that “use for human consumption, subsistence domestic use and sanitation will always prevail, both in the granting and in the limitation of the exercise of the rights of use.”

The General Directorate of Water (DGA) is assigned the mission of subjecting itself to the aforementioned prioritization when the temporary reduction of the use or redistribution exercise is necessary.

Right of use

Meanwhile, the right of use originates by virtue of a 30-year concession. This will be done according to the criteria of availability of the supply source and / or sustainability of the aquifer. It may be granted for a shorter period under a founded resolution of the authority.

The duration of the right of use will be extended by the sole ministry of the law and successively. The foregoing, unless the DGA accredits the non-effective use of the resource or that there is an impact on the sustainability of the source.

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