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SEA publishes document on technical contents for the environmental assessment of water resources

April 21, 2021

The Environmental Assessment Service ("EAS") is preparing technical documents, as a supplement for the environmental assessment guides, to standardize criteria, background and procedures within the Environmental Impact Assessment System (“EIAS”).

In this context, on April 13, 2021, the EAS, in collaboration with the General Water Bureau ("GWB"), published the document "Evaluation Criteria in the SEIA: Technical Contents for the Environmental Assessment of Water Resources" (the "Document").

Purpose

The Document establishes technical guidelines for the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements ("DIA") or Environmental Impact Assessments ("EIA"), depending on the case, detailing the background and information that project holders must submit for the environmental assessment of water resources.

Technical Guidelines

The document provides guidance to SEIA users regarding:

  1. Identification of impacts on water resources: the need to recognize direct alterations on the water component, as well as indirect alterations on ecosystems dependent on it. Illustrative examples are given.
  2. Determination of the area of influence: need to make the determination in accordance with the "Guide for the description of the area of influence in the SEIA".
  3. Description of the objects of protection: components or elements likely to be altered directly or indirectly by the project, which, in the SEIA framework, corresponds to the general description of the area of influence in the case of the DIA, and the baseline, in the case of the EIA.
  4. Characterization of the water resource: list of aspects to be considered at the time of characterizing groundwater and/or surface water.
  5. Environmental monitoring of the water resource: guidelines and recommendations for its design, which can be incorporated as a monitoring plan for relevant environmental variables or voluntary environmental commitments, depending on whether the impacts are significant or not.
  6. Early warning plan: instrument used by the DGA to protect systems subject to exploitation and as an environmental management tool in projects where the hydrogeological resource is essential for the sustenance of dependent ecosystems, with respect to which indications are made in order to unify criteria in its preparation.

To read the complete document, click here.