Once lush, El Salvador is dangerously close to running dry

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Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of surface water sources in the country are contaminated, according to reports from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
“We wish we had water from a faucet.” According to the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), nearly a quarter of the population in rural areas has no access to running water either in their homes or at public taps.
According to Maria Dolores Rovira, head of the department of process engineering and environmental sciences at UCA, water quality and supply are similarly deficient in poor neighborhoods in the capital, San Salvador.
The region’s drought-prone Dry Corridor, in particular, is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to the disasters resulting from a changing climate, and it blankets El Salvador.
(Learn how climate change is impacting Guatemala.)
In 2014, for example, Central America suffered a record drought, leaving at least 96,000 Salvadoran families without adequate food.
For Minister Pohl, the counter-proposal represents an attempt to privatize decision-making, which she argues is more reckless than privatizing service provision.
“All of these issues related to climate change or to other causes of the crisis of water in El Salvador keep coming back to the lack of institutional structures to regulate water,” he says.
“El Salvador’s viability as a nation really depends on the state of its natural resources, especially water.” Heather Gies is a freelance journalist.

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