March 10th, 2010
Oaxaca faces severe water supply problems
“A bottle of water is 5,000 to7,000 times more costly than what one would pay for normal water distribution services.”
A public meeting was held to re-evaluate the relationship between Oaxacans and their water supply. Specialists and academics in the field explained about the critical condition of the sewage water in Oaxaca from ecological and management point of views: there are serious water supply and pollution problems.
Pointed out were the serious effects of the irresponsible relationship society has had to its water resources on the water table and bodies of water, including overexploiting and contaminating the rivers due to a lack of functioning sewage treatment plants.
Juan Jose Consejo talked about the difficulties facing the water tables in the Valles Centrales region, where the number of wells have drastically increased in just 1 year.
Raul Corzo Jimenez, general coordinator of urban development, public works and municipal ecology of Oaxaca, highlighted the actions the municipality has taken to mitigate the effects of water contamination, but admitted that there is a lot left behind in the material.
He spoke specifically about the ecological ordinance (not sure if that’s really what the Spanish word means) signed recently in conjunction with federal and state offices, which will serve as a tool toward a new path to sustainable development and care for resources, like water.
There was a reading of a text by Jean Robert, of the University of Morelos, which talked principally about the origins of the philosophy of water as a resource for the community as opposed to a market interest for big businesses. The arguments set forth in the text are supported in works by Carl Marx and Lockey Malthus.
After the public meeting, Carlos Plasencia, organizer of the Water Forum, indicated that according to studies, the cost of bottled water is 5-7 thousand times more than the cost of normal household water distribution services, and in addition, recent studies show that 20%of bottled water is not as clean or pure as the companies contend.
GEA and UABJO presented on alternative sanitation for sewage waters. The conference ended with a review of the conclusions and proposals, which in future stages the seminar will return to.