Will desalinization figure into the employment plan?
When Bonilla was on the Otay water board, he advocated construction of a desalinization plant in Rosarito, to be financed by private interests. The plant would sell water to the Otay district, which would build a pipeline north from the border. The project has many detractors, who cite both environmental concerns and costs.
“The water district has awarded a $4 million contract for an engineering firm to study the plan, and spent $674,000 on $585-an-hour lobbyists and $175-an-hour consultants,” reported the Union-Tribune on October 10, 2011. In December, the paper reported that no-bid contracts connected to the plant were awarded to associates of Bonilla.
Whether López Obrador is elected or not, Bonilla will likely achieve a seat in the Mexican legislature. In Mexico, legislative seats can be either appointed or elected.
“Will you continue to promote this project?” I ask him.
“This plant would produce 100 million gallons a day,” he says. “It will produce enough to export to the United States. Baja has no water. You can worry about the flora and fauna or you can worry about the people: do they have jobs, water to drink, water for agriculture and industry?”