Vicente Guerrero Citizens Make Demands for Water (El Vigia, 11/6/12 by Enrique Rojas)

Vicente Guerrero, BC -Immediate response was sought by local water users to Cespe authorities, who persuaded them with offers of fixing the problem gradually. The meeting between those affected and officials was at 10:00 AM yesterday, at the regional management offices of PEMEX. The latter, led by José Alfredo Salazar Juárez, arrived on time.

The residents began to reel off a litany of questions demanding solutions and not promises that directly meet their situation. Expressions of rejection occurred one by one from the director of the State Commission on Public Services of Ensenada who made succinct explanations of actions intended to resolve the problem.

He spoke of efforts being made to reverse the situation of the aquifers that supply water to the Vicente Guerrero user population. He said that wells "are low, very low". He explained that the situation requires a funding solution and so arrangements have been made with the national water Commission (Conagua) to allow for drilling of more wells and he emphasized "these efforts we are underway".

Other efforts, continued José Alfredo Salazar, are being conducted with the business community "to help us, as it has done in the past, to alleviate the shortage of water". An option provided is the installation of desalination plants, but while this occurs farmers were invited to help desalinate water in wells already in use or to provide Cespe with water they do not use.

He also made mention of a project with four wells in the basin of San Simón, which at the completion within several years will "create a large corridor between San Quintín and Vicente Guerrero to solve the problem". Another offer was made by the director of Cespe to increase to 40 the number of colonies that will be handled by pipes, which would include, hypothetically to the most affected one, which is Vicente Guerrero.

With evident anger, those present following the official’s failure to deliver any concrete, but only long-term responses, "because the charges we are long term, are now". They expressed it is possible that the Government favors entrepreneurs, who are big users of the resource, and not the human population, which through this action, violates the right to life. Claiming deficiencies in the supply of water containing very high salinity, they questioned the fact that farmers get good water and the population all the salt water.

Finally, at 2 PM, it was reported a series of agreements were settled. The main items were a new schedule in the supply of water, in which early morning hours will be supplemented with afternoon supplies from 4 to 6 PM. The colonies that will immediately benefit are Maclovio Rojas, Rancho Seco, Arenal, Reforma, Andrade and those on the path to Ruta de Loma Linda and Lomas Verdes. These localities will receive water once a day and two only once. Other items agreed upon were no gauges for new installations, any surcharges, exemption from payment for October due to the lack of water, and a fee fixed of 63 pesos ($4.83 US).

It will take another four to five days for authorities to seek alternative water supply sources.

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