Tag Archive for 'mexico’s water supplies'

Mexican Communities Fight Mini-Dams

Photo retrieved from: www.ipsnews.net

“Small-scale hydroelectric dams with a capacity of under 30 MW are seen by the authorities in Mexico as an important alternative for generating energy. But local communities reject them on the argument that they would cause social, economic and environmental damages.

On the front line of the struggle are communities in the southern states of Puebla, Tabasco, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas, where there is great potential to harness hydro energy with small dams.

“They claim the so-called mini-hydroelectric plants don’t have a negative impact on communities, but people already have the necessary information to know that any kind of dam has an impact,” activist Angélica Castro, coordinator of public advocacy and citizen participation in Services for Alternative Education (EDUCA), told IPS.

EDUCA, a non-governmental organisation in Oaxaca, has been working since 2006 with the people of 39 communities in six municipalities in that state that would be affected by a 510 MW dam that the state Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) plans to build on the Verde River.”

Read more: IPS


Bottled-Water Habit Keeps Tight Grip on Mexicans

Photo retrieved from: www.nytimes.com

“In Iztapalapa and in many communities across Mexico, talk of tap water is a constant — whether there is any, how it smells, what color it is, or whether it carries sand, mud or unspecified insect life.

Despite reassurances from the authorities that municipal plants pump clean water into the supply network, skepticism is widespread, even when politicians sometimes come forward to guzzle some tap water in public to make a point. “Who knows?” Mr. Montero asked.

A study released last year by the Inter-American Development Bank found that Mexicans used about 127 gallons of bottled water per person a year, more than four times the bottled-water consumption in the United States and more than any country surveyed.

“People are using this water for cooking, for bathing their babies,” said Federico Basañes, division chief for water and sanitation at the development bank.

There is a similar move toward jugs of clean water in countries like China, Indonesia and Thailand, the development bank found, as rising incomes give residents the ability to buy bottled water.”

Read more: New York Times


As Farms Bite the Dust, “Megadrought” May Be the New Normal in the Southwest


Photo retrieved from: www.alternet.org

“This summer is worse than last; forest fires have already broken last year’s records. The rains haven’t come, and temperature records are falling like leaves from a dried-up tree. Springs, wells and irrigation ditches are bone dry. Farms are withering. We’ve all heard the gloomy scenarios of global warming: extreme weather, drought, famine, breakdown of society, destruction of civilization.

My current perch in Placitas, New Mexico feels like a front-row seat to the apocalypse.

Intuitive as the connection may seem, we don’t know if the current drought is a consequence of global warming, deBuys writes. Periodic, decades-long droughts have been relatively common in the last few thousand years, according to analysis of dried lake beds. Most of the area’s famously collapsed civilizations–Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, the Galisteo pueblos–are thought to have died out for lack of water in these extended dry periods, which deBuys calls “megadroughts.”

By contrast, the last century’s human population growth in the American Southwest occurred during a relatively wet period in the climactic record. We were due for another megadrought sooner or later, deBuys writes, which could be expected to dramatically alter human settlement patterns in the area. While this current heat may not be caused by global warming, he writes, climate change could nonetheless trigger the next megadrought.

In the Sandia Mountains above Placitas, last winter’s snowpack was relatively high. But the spring runoff never came, because the snow evaporated straight into the air of the hottest spring on record.”

Read more: AlterNet