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The citizen observatory for water and sanitation in San Miguel

By Agustín Madrigal

This initiative, supported by the United Nations Settlements Program and the Consejo Consultivo del Agua A.C., will inform the residents of San Miguel de Allende about the state of water in the municipality, and will create a space for public participation on the issue. The project was first implemented in 2008 in the city of Saltillo, Coahuila.

“The Observatory is a space for plural public participation at the local level that is democratic, organized and legitimate, and has been created with the goal of contributing to more efficient, equitable and transparent water management,” commented Eduardo Vázquez Herrera, Executive Director of CCA.

The initiative will periodically measure and analyze water-users’ perceptions of a variety of local water issues. The information is collected using qualitative and quantitative instruments to produce publically accessible results that inform decision-makers and service providers about the issues so they can find appropriate methods for improving them.

“By founding the Citizen Observatory for Water and Sanitation, we seek to offer the residents of San Miguel de Allende an opportunity to rely on a mechanism that is permanent, equitable, effective, stable and trustworthy, that encourages transparency and fiscal accountability and responds to the community’s needs,” said Verónica Martínez David, Project Coordinator for CCA.

Among the main activities that make up the project, the workshops stand for their ability to convene the most relevant social factors from a number of different sectors.

According to Román Gómez, the Principal Technical Advisor for UN-HABITAT’s Water for Latin-American and Caribbean Cities Program, the above will be achieved by creating a platform that facilitates the exchange of information and experiences of San Miguel’s water-users. The platform will encourage public participation in the monitoring of services provided by water service providers.

As part of its mandate to mobilize and support necessary strategy changes for the sustainable use and management of water in Mexico, CCA focuses on a number of objectives that promote citizen participation that is informed, committed, and jointly responsible with the government to strengthen the hydrological sector.

To find out more about the state of water in our country, and practical initiatives for reversing the problem, such as the CCA, please visit the following link:

Consejo Consultivo del Agua (CCA) is a plural and independent civil society organization that attained non-profit status in March 2000.

United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) is a UN agency that promotes cities and towns that are socially and ecologically sustainable.

If you would like more information or would like to arrange an interview with the Consejo Consultivo del Agua, please contact:  Verónica Martínez David, Project Coordinator, tel. 52 84 28 47,

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