OCAS initiates Aguavida SMA campaign
By Agustín Madrigal
The Observatorio Ciudadano del Agua y Saneamiento, OCAS (Citizens’ Observatory for Water and Sanitation) extends a cordial invitation to all media, NGOs, government sectors involved in water supply and sanitation, as well as the general public to join the campaign for water conservation Aguavida SMA.
The next meeting is March 23 at El Charco del Ingenio, from 3:30 to 4pm. There will be a press conference by the organizers of this event, as well as guests from the general public, government and schools. Prior to the press conference Dr. Marcos Adrián Ortega will give a lecture from 2:30 to 3:30pm titled “New Paradigms of Water in the Basin and Aquifer of the Independence.”
Years of deforestation, overgrazing and gravel extraction in the Laja River Basin have caused extreme erosion and soil compaction, leading to a dramatic reduction in the quantity and quality of surface water and groundwater replenishment. Sixteen wells supply water to San Miguel de Allende, and we depend 100 percent on the water extracted from the aquifer, but replenishment is minimal. Experts in the field believe that if immediate actions are not taken there will be a progressive decline in the quantity and quality of our groundwater resources.
In recent years there has been the need to raise awareness about water scarcity, overfishing and water pollution. OCAS seeks to create and strengthen opportunities for reflection and analysis that reveal the causes, effects and prognosis about the impact we are having on water resources in the region.
Consequently, OCAS has designed a platform to launch a water conservation campaign called SMA Aguavida to offer people not only scientific and practical information, but also workshops, environmental education conferences and strategy meetings with architects, urban developers and hotel and restaurant associations. There will also be meetings with schools, universities and community centers with lectures and films on the topic of nature and our current water situation. In addition, newspaper articles, interviews in the media, and other sources of information for the public on conservation, reuse and appreciation of the true value of water in its various uses—domestic, commercial, agricultural and industrial—complement the list of activities to be developed throughout 2013.