January 18, 2010
This marks the beginning of the second trip to Oaxaca for Water for Humans. Our purpose this trip is to construct a business plan for Operation and Maintenance of a constructed wetland in Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla. I (Susan) woke up at 4 am for a 6 am taxi to San Francisco International. I went through security surprisingly without a hitch. The flight was blissfully boring and uneventful to Houston. There, I rendezvoused with Rick and Stan for an uneventful flight to Oaxaca. We sailed through customs and caught a taxi van to La Casa del Arbol. We called Rosalinda to come let us in. We met Dianne who is also staying there. She runs a recreation program for seniors in Springfield, Oregon. She is in Oaxaca to learn Spanish. We talked at length with her about our project. We went to bed around 11 pm.
January 19, 2010
We had a leisurely morning to get a working phone, breakfast, change money and buy groceries. We went by INSO and bumped into Nelly and Juan Jose. We caught up on things that have happened since July and came up with a tentative schedule for the time we are here. There will be a Water Forum of Oaxaca February 12th at which Stan and Rick will present the project. We arranged to meet with Nelly later this afternoon to call Maria Gonzalez, (the mayor of Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla) and Justino Matadmas (the mayor of Guadalupe de Etla), Erik Martinez Torres (past director of the Chemistry Department, Universidad Autonoma Benito Juarez de Oaxaca). After lunch, we finished errands and returned to INSO to arrange meetings. We then had supper at Gozobi and returned home.
Part of our task is to find examples of successful sustainability with water such as microdams in India, reforestation in South Korea and Gaviotas (an eco city-village in central Colombia). These examples illustrate how sustainability and smart water use can turn around the effects of environmental damage. Planting trees cleans the water and replenishes the underground aquifer. Water draining through the different layers of soil works as a filter. This process slows water run- off. This relates directly to many of the current water issues in Oaxaca as they are experiencing drought- flood cycles. By making rivers back into "slow water" it will allow the water to recharge the ground water supplies and provide a more consistent water flow in the rivers. We and INSO are working hard to offer sustainable solutions to water resource issues, we are preparing for several key meetings with local and state officials to present alternatives to a proposed large dam project. Our solutions will build on many successful examples of small scale changes that lead to better water availability and supply.