The sovereign state is a unitarypresidentialconstitutionalrepublic. It has a long-standing and stable democracy and a highly educated workforce. The country spends roughly 6.9% of its budget (2016) on education, compared to a global average of 4.4%. Its economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. Many foreign manufacturing and services companies operate in Costa Rica's Free Trade Zones (FTZ) where they benefit from investment and tax incentives.
Costa Rica is divided into three major drainage basins encompassing 34 watersheds with numerous rivers and tributaries, one major lake used for hydroelectric generation, and two major aquifers that serve to store 90% of the municipal, industrial, and agricultural water supply needs of Costa Rica. Agriculture is the largest water user demanding around 53% of total supplies while the sector contributes 6.5% to the Costa Rica GDP. About a fifth of land under cultivation is being irrigated by surface water. Hydroelectric power generation makes up a significant portion of electricity usage in Costa Rica and much of this comes from the Arenal dam.
Total water usage is very high in comparison to other Central American countries, but when measured against available freshwater sources, Costa Rica uses only 5% of its available supply. Urbanization is increasing and as it does, demand for water is expected to rise exponentially in the coming decades. There exists ample water but the threat of widespread contamination to the aquifers is legitimate as untreated wastewater, stormwater, and industrial effluents infiltrate subterranean supplies. (Full article...)
President Rodrigo Chaves orders a series of measures to fight increasing crime in Costa Rica, including the deployment of more police, tougher juvenile laws, extradition of foreign criminals, and restrictions on the sale of ammunition. (Reuters)