AguaVida: Laboratory for the People
AguaVida is a water quality laboratory designed to make scientific tools accessible to communities in Costa Rica to foster and support water conservation, activism and community governance. AguaVida Laboratory is a partnership between the Sustainability Demonstration Center located in Guacimal, Costa Rica and the Water Quality Center located in Lynchburg, Virginia, USA.
Over the past 6 years, the Sustainability Demonstration Center has been a strong advocate for supporting communities engaged in defending their environmental rights against private investors seeking to divert and pollute river water through agribusiness and development projects. Through our advocacy efforts, the Sustainability Demonstration Center and the Water Quality Center established an alliance to provide technical scientific expertise to communities engaged in opposition to such projects. This alliance enabled our success in our petitions to the Supreme Court of Costa Rica during our efforts to protect the Río Veracruz in Guacimal.
Through additional partnerships with various entities such as FECON (Federacion Ecologista) and the University of Costa Rica’s Vice-rectory of Social Action, we are unifying in our development into a true environmental citizen group actively involved in the protection of the natural environment and community water rights in Costa Rica.
We aim to unify the forces of community and the forces of science. AguaVida strives to provide accessible water quality science opportunities, realized through providing low-cost water quality testing and scientific support to any “community” within Costa Rica, be they the poorest rural ASADAs, individuals or organizations fighting for their right to clean water.