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Two Forums Focus on Importance of Public Water

we are water

By Roberto Robles and Liz Mestres

Here in San Miguel de Allende, El Charco del Ingenio will hold its 3rd annual water forum—”Water Forum 2018: A Human Right at Risk.” The forum will take place over two days, March 9 and 10.

“Water is life: the lack of water is illness and death.” These are words of the World Water Council, organizer of the 8th World Water Forum to be held this March in Brazil.

For too many desperate local, regional, and national locales around the world, this is a reality. In 2010, the UN General Assembly approved a statement introduced by Bolivia’s representative that the human right to water and sanitation had not been fully recognized. Lack of access to clean, plentiful water has killed more children than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined, while lack of sanitation has affected 2.6 billion people, or 40 percent of the global population.

In the second decade of the 21st century, the encyclical letter Laudato Si’ of Pope Francis, “On Care for our Common Home,” has been widely embraced. One of his assertions on water is a direct moral claim: “Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.”

This type of international pressure prompted the Mexican government to respond. In February 2012, Article 4 of Mexico’s Constitution was revised to recognize this right to water and sanitation:

The forum will address these worldwide and local concerns from a variety of perspectives. On the first day of the forum, organized by El Charco del Ingenio, scientists, lawyers, environmentalists, and producers will address different aspects of the water crisis and its environmental and social consequences. The topics will include some of the crucial points of the 2016 “Declaración del Charco del Ingenio,”

The second day, organized by El Sindicato Cultural Center and the Center for Global Justice, focuses on current actions in response to the water crisis. Appearing will be Andrés Barreda of the Asamblea Nacional de Afectados Ambientales and Rachel Kastner of Regeneration International, as well as activists from some of the many local organizations working across Guanajuato on projects to address immediate needs for potable water, legal struggles against the further privatization of water, and long-term projects of reforestation and regenerative agriculture.

Access to the forum is free and open to everybody. For more information, check El Charco’s Facebook page at The Saturday program will be bilingual with translation. And watch for more activities here in San Miguel for World Water Day on March 22, and, on March 23, a trip organized by Caminos de Agua and SECOPA to the rural community of Pozos Ademato.



El Charco del Ingenio presents

“Water Forum 2018: A Human Right at Risk”

Fri, Mar 9, 9am–6pm

El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden



El Sindicato Cultural Comunitario and the Center for Global Justice present

“Water Forum 2018: In Defense of Water”

Sat, Mar 10, 10am–2pm

El Sindicato, Recreo 4


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