If you have any questions in regards to the above, please do not hesitate to contact our offices so that we may explain the amendments to the provisions of the Code in more detail. Our address is:
Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., P.O. Box 363507, San Juan, PR 00936-3507. Our fax (787) 759-3108.
We welcome your questions and comments.
Juan Carlos Gómez Escarce
María L. González Hernández
Pedro J. Reyes Bibiloni
March 9, 2016
A COMPREHENSIVE WATER PLAN IS PROPOSED: DNER WILL HOLD PUBLIC HEARING
The Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) has published the Draft Comprehensive Water Resources Plan (referred to as the draft Water Plan or PIRA by its Spanish acronym), which document establishes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s public policy and objectives regarding the protection, conservation and effective use of this natural resource. The preparation, adoption and update of the PIRA is mandated by the Law of Waters of Puerto Rico, Law 136 of 1976, as amended. The purposes of the draft Water Plan, among others, are: (a) protect the resource against contamination and improper uses; (b) protect the hydric resources; (c) achieve compatibility between the water resources and their natural–physical conditions and the social and economic needs; (d) ensure water quality and its availability; (e) specify the current uses of the water bodies and planned additional uses considering the hydrological cycle and each system’s needs; (f) prioritize water consumption through the optimum, beneficial and reasonable use criteria; and (g) provide for continuing water resource’s planning and administration procedures.
The draft Water Plan is presented in six chapters and for the first time incorporates the climate change problem and the concept of basins. Chapter 1 provides a legal overview, and PIRA’s objectives and scope. Chapter 2 analyzes the scientific data collected regarding climate change and the increase in the sea level, their effect over the water resources, and their incorporation in the draft Water Plan strategies. Chapter 3 describes the Island’s hydric and climatological characteristics, habitats present in the water resources, and our water use patterns. Chapter 4 analyses the water demand and supply for several uses and make projections until 2030. Chapter 5 analyses the conditions of the water resources. Chapter 6 describes the policies, objectives and projects to be implemented by the Water Plan.
As currently drafted, some of the Water Plan's proposed control measures may impact the water extraction volumes of existing franchises and authorizations.
The DNER will hold a public hearing on March 29, 2016, at 9:00 A.M., at the Cruz A. Matos Environmental Building, to receive comments to the Water Plan.
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