Puerto Morelos (Mexico), Nov 30 (EFE).- In areas of low rainfall, where communities are more dispersed and obtaining water is difficult and costly, such as in the rural areas of central Mexico, the alternative is to innovate, said Juan Gabriel Segovia, general manager of Social Management at the Guanajuato State Water Commission.
In the different regions in the State of Guanajuato, in central Mexico, there are areas where you have to drill to a depth of 400 meters to find water, which means investing up to 50 million pesos ($2.5 million) for a well.
“We are saying that there are wells from 80 to 100 meters in some areas, but in others you have to drill up to 300 or 400 meters to find water. That forces us to be very efficient and carry out constant campaigns with communities to take care of the resource,” Segovia said in an interview with EFE.
Guanajuato is one of the states participating in the FEMSA Foundation’s Lazos de Agua initiative, which brought water, sanitation and hygiene to 200,000 people in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Paraguay in its first phase.
MORE CHALLENGES, LESS RAINFALL
Segovia explained that the historical average rainfall in Guanajuato is 600 millimeters per year, but in 2022 it has rained very little, registering so far a total of only 408 millimeters.
“For that reason, the source of the water used is mainly underground. The surface water we use is only around 3% or 2%,” he explained.Normally they work with municipalities of less than 2,500 inhabitants but there are villages with less than 50 people and drilling a well for them is costly.
“That is where we have to be very creative from the government standpoint and that is where projects such as Lazos de Agua can contribute with their approach, support, and bringing awareness to the communities about the issues and develop other strategies,” he said.
In addition to carrying out an infrastructure work program in the communities, Lazos de Agua works in social support to help people better manage infrastructure and with the collection of fees, as well as help solve conflicts.
“That is where the Lazos de Agua program comes in, through social art we generate awareness among the population in an innovative and fun way, with different tools that the project includes, and people learn to take care of water,” said Segovia.
“There are cases where a community has a well, but that well is large enough to supply two or three nearby towns, but sometimes they resist because the people say: ‘the water is ours and the well is ours,’ so there is a lot of social work to convince them,” he added.
In this regard, the official acknowledged that the programs promoted by Lazos de Agua, with social art, avoid conflicts. EFE