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Dominican Republic

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Dominican Republic

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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
HydroBasin Level:
Baseline Water Stress:
Water Quality Stress:
Sanitation Access Stress:
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3.22 out of 5
WWF Country Risk Score
27 out of 248 Countries
WWF Country Rank
Total Organizations: 8
Total Projects: 9
Priority SDGs: Sustainable Agriculture (SDG 2.4)
Increase Access to Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (SDG 6.1 & 6.2)
Water Quality (SDG 6.3)
Water Use Efficiency (SDG 6.4)
Integrated Water Resource Management (SDG 6.5)
Protect and Restore Ecosystems (SDG 6.6)
International Cooperation and Capacity Building (SDG 6.a)
Stakeholder Participation (SDG 6.b)
Water-Related Disaster Management (SDG 11.5)
Sustainable Production (SDG 12.4)
Climate Resilience and Adaptation (SDG 13.1)
Priority Regions: --
Priority Industries: Apparel
Biotech, health care & pharma
Food, beverage & agriculture
Power generation
Organization Types:
Water Fund
Coalition / Consortium
Individual / Sole Proprietor
International Organization
NGO / Civil Society
Profile Completion: 91%

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $1,781,956,373.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $717,292,620.00 - [40%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $363,703,031.00 - [20%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $18,404,877.00 - [1%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $112,626,771.00 - [6%]
  • Water Scarcity: $272,936,346.00 - [15%]
  • Water Management: $296,992,729.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

No challenges found.

Country Overview

1.1.WATER RESOURCES 1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES The Dominican Republic’s internal water resources total 2,430m3 per capita, which is below the average for the Central American and Caribbean region (6,645m3). The current water demand of 10 billion m3 represents 44 per cent of total available freshwater resources. According to the World Bank, only Barbados, the Dominican Republic (DR), Mexico and Peru exceed 10 per cent demand in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Water scarcity is reflected in increasing competition for surface water allocation and unsustainable groundwater abstraction. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), groundwater has a potential of 1,500 million m3/year, but less than a third of this value is actually being extracted. Although coastal limestone aquifers contain only about 4 per cent of the available groundwater reserves, human activities in the southeast of the country (from Santo Domingo to La Romana and Punta Cana) are heavily dependent on them – for example, some 30 per cent of Santo Domingo’s water supply comes from underground sources. As a result, coastal limestone aquifers are overdrafted and seawater intrusion already reaches inland 20 to 50km from the seashore. Many coastal aquifers are at risk of contamination from agrochemicals and poorly located solid waste disposal, contributing to water scarcity by making resources unavailable.

1.1.2.WATER USE The DR has achieved impressive increases in access to water supply and sanitation over the past two decades. However, the quality of water supply and sanitation services remains poor, despite the country’s high economic growth during the 1990s. The DR, with a population of 8.8 million, of which about 60 per cent are located in urban areas, has a high level of water services in urban areas, with 97 per cent coverage and 92 per cent of the urban population having household connections (as compared to an average of 90 per cent in the LAC region) About 76 per cent of Dominican Republic’s land area (8,900km2) is dedicated to agriculture, 17 per cent of which is irrigated. According to FAO, 2,700 km2 is equipped for irrigation. INDRHI estimates the area suitable for irrigation at up to 7,100km2, taking into account soil suitability and water resources availability. Most of the irrigated areas are located in the valleys between the mountain ranges, with medium to low rainfall and few limitations on its soil such as slope, depth of soil, and in some cases, salinity problems associated with irrigation or the presence of saline groundwater. Needs in the irrigation subsector are related to improving efficiency, productivity and organizational aspects. According to the FAO, solutions should be sought through the use of better technology, more efficient operation of irrigation systems and increased financial support. Poor maintenance of existing infrastructure and irrational use of water are causes of the low (overall) irrigation efficiency. Irrigation Management Transfer to Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) formally began in the mid 1980s and is still an on-going process. Irrigation systems in 1,277km2 (46 per cent of total irrigated land in the country) is managed by 41,329 users (57 per cent of all users). However, the transfer process and the performance of WUAs are still far from ideal. While WUAs show a significant increase in cost recovery, especially when compared to low values in areas under state management, a high subsidy from the government still contributes to cover operation and maintenance costs in their systems. In 2008 the DR had an installed hydroelectric capacity of 470MW, accounting for 14 per cent of electricity generating capacity. It is expected that, by 2012, an additional 762MW will have been added. The first three new hydropower plants, with a combined capacity of 240MW, are: -Pinalito, with 50MW, on the Rio Tireo and the Rio Blanco; -Palomino, with 99MW, at the confluence of the rivers Yaque Del Sur River and the Rio Blanco; -Las Placetas, with 87MW, involving an interbasin transfer from the Rio Bao to the Rio Jaguá. The first two plants were under construction in 2008.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH The DR’s major environmental problems are water shortages, soil eroding into the sea and damaging coral reefs, and deforestation. Although few studies on water quality have been carried out over the last two decades and there is a crucial lack of adequate and consistent monitoring, scattered evidence suggests that the levels of nutrients, organic matter and bacteriological contamination in water are high. For example, the proportion of samples with coliforms in aqueducts served by INAPA (the main water company, supplying 40 per cent of the population) increased from 17 per cent in 1994 to 23 per cent in 1998. This is particularly striking because, according to DR standards, presence of coliforms in more than 5 per cent of samples indicates that water is no longer potable. Water pollution is largely the product of poor urban wastewater management, but solid waste and agriculture are also water polluters. In some cases, high salinity, pesticides and other pollutants are present in water close to agricultural, urban and industrial areas. Downstream of metal mining, flows of effluents also show high levels of cadmium, chrome and other heavy metals – high levels of mercury have been found in the waters of Samana Bay and the presence of pesticides and persistent organic pollutants (such as DDT and PCBs) in estuary molluscs has also been reported

Country Water Profile

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Organizations in Dominican Republic

Desde su fundación, nuestro Holding se ha guiado por las ideas de promoción de tecnologías avanzadas e innovadoras que ayudarán a depurar al máximo el planeta tierra, convirtiendo los residuos y las aguas residuales en energía renovable y agua potable, … Learn More

El Fondo Agua Santo Domingo (FASD) es un mecanismo innovador creado para garantizar recursos de inversión orientados a la restauración y conservación de ecosistemas en las cuencas hidrográficas que abastecen de agua a la ciudad de Santo Domingo. La iniciativa … Learn More

As participants in God's mission of restoring humanity to wholeness, we work to end the human suffering caused the global water crisis. We apply our engineering expertise, international development experience, and faith to help the world's most vulnerable communities establish, … Learn More

Water stewardship has long been one of PepsiCo’s top priorities, and it's an important part of building a Positive Value Chain. As one of the first companies of our size to acknowledge water as a human right, we have a … Learn More

Estamos comprometidos en garantizar la preservacion del medio ambiente, el uso racional de los recursos y la minimizacion de los residuos, en el convencimiento de que esta linea de actuacion es coherente con la mejora en la calidad de vida … Learn More

Offer developing worlds sustainable and secure solutions while educating and empowering the people. MISSION STATEMENT Offer developing worlds sustainable and secure solutions while educating and empowering the people: OUR FOCUS AREAS Education; Sustainability; Empowerment; Security OUR GOALS We establish relationships … Learn More

The Water Resilience Coalition, founded in 2020, is an industry-driven, CEO-led coalition of the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world's freshwater resources … Learn More

The Nature Conservancy and its partners designed the Yaque del Norte Water Fund explicitly with climate change in mind. Its activities will contribute to regulating base flow and reducing soil erosion with the aim of reducing future water security risk … Learn More

Projects in Dominican Republic

El Objetivo General del Proyecto es la implementación de Generadores Atmosféricos de Agua en diferentes comunidades españolas y así erradicar la problemática del abastecimiento de agua potable que se presenta cada año por las sequías, construyendo modelos técnicos de fácil … Learn More

This project, a collaboration between TCCC and TNC, achieved the conservation and restoration of 193.25 hectares of forests in the Higua River Watershed of the Yaque del Norte basin, a major source of drinking water for the city of Santiago. … Learn More

This project focuses on protecting and restoring forested areas and associated ecosystem services, including water supply, of the Haina-Duey subwatershed within the mid Haina del Norte basin, San Cristobal province. This subwatershed is a major source of drinking water for … Learn More

The Mahomita micro watershed within the mid Nizao basin provides water for the Aguacate dam, which provides water and electricity for the city of Santo Domingo. Erosion, caused in part by deforestation, agriculture, and road construction in the basic, has … Learn More

The Larimar Wind Farm project generates clean electricity using wind energy. The project involves the construction and operation of two wind farms located in Enriquillo Region of the Dominican Republic. �Larimar I� has 15 wind turbines with a total installed … Learn More

The Dominican Republic cement plant is aware of the physical hazards to which it is exposed. For this reason, in 2017 it developed a plan to measure and reduce water consumption, with specific site targets which allow it to minimize … Learn More

The project goal is to support the strengthening of long-term conservation mechanisms (Water Funds) in 11 basins of 6 countries in Latin America, implementing actions in the field, investing in more than 5,000 hectares in priority areas of watersheds key … Learn More

The objective of "Water for the Planet" is to establish a collaborative work between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and PepsiCo to support the development and strengthening of the Water Funds, by investing in conservation actions to protect six supply areas … Learn More

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Robert W. Crowley
Water Action Hub Team
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