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City Government and NGO Coalition Form Commission on Preserving Water Supplies

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By Bruce Janklow

On the eve of World Water Day 2019, San Miguel de Allende’s municipal government and a coalition of 13 San Miguel NGOs signed an agreement to work together to create a planning document for the municipality’s water supplies.

The two groups, which have formed a joint commission whose mission is to complete and ratify the planning document by June 5, took part in a signing ceremony on March 21 at the Bellas Artes cultural center, signing a proclamation that officially created the commission.

The commission’s planning document is to be titled, “A Working Plan for the Future of Water in San Miguel.”

Signing for the municipality were the Director of Ecology Francisco Peyeret, Jorge Zavala of SAPASMA, and Councilman Luis Felipe de Jesús Tapia. Members of the coalition of NGOs involved in the project, who are working under the name Agua Vida, also signed the proclamation. Alberto Carmona, director of planning and environmental policy for the state of Guanajuato, and Diego Rodríguez of the Guanajuato Ministry of Education signed the proclamation as witnesses.

Among the NGOs represented in the Agua Vida coalition are Patronato Pro Niños, Feed the Hungry, Salvemos el Río Laja, Vía Orgánica, Caminos de Agua, the Midday Rotary Club of San Miguel, Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende, El Maíz Más Pequeño, Casita Linda, El Charco del Ingenio, Audubon, Amigos de la Presa, and Ojala Niños.

Speaking on behalf of Agua Vida, Caminos de Agua director Dylan Terrell said, “That there are issues with the quality and quantity of our water supply is not news … But that the municipal government is here with 13 civil society organizations [to work together] is very important.”

Terrell went on to acknowledge the important work of numerous actors—grassroots organizations, environmentalists, NGOs, and government officials—who have worked on regional water and environmental issues for decades.

“What we are doing today is on the shoulders of those who came before us. Without their work, we would not be here.”

Paco Guajardo of Caminos de Agua and Jack Gawron of Casita Linda read the joint declaration in both English and Spanish.

Speaking for the municipality, de Jesús Tapia said, “I have never seen this, bringing together all these organizations, representing practically all the municipality in its different sectors. We all have one thing in common, which is water and leaving our future generations of  San Miguel with sufficient water. The municipality is committed to all of you, and the signing of this agreement is just the beginning.”

 

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