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Residents Solve Támbula-Picachos Basin’s Environmental Issues One Stone at a Time

Recorrido de reconocimiento

Recorrido por las montañas de Doña Juana


By Jesús Aguado

A centuries-old technique for building stone walls may be the answer to restoring a microwatershed in the Támbula-Picachos basin area.

Residents of Doña Juana, a community in the San Miguel de Allende municipality with about 400 people, have come together for the last three years to participate in a volunteer project to stop erosion in the basin area and, in some critical cases, restore depleted soil. Participants are building a total linear equivalent of 300 kilometers of walls in various parts of the area, each wall built stone over stone with no mortar. So far, the group has worked on 42 hectares of soil and built nearly three kilometers of walls with the aid of Henry Miller.

The Támbula-Picachos basin suffers from erosion, flooding, and groundwater depletion.

The project’s simple but effective idea avoids further soil erosion in the area, causing rainwater to flow more slowly and filter into groundwater systems. It also conserves the soil’s humidity, which participants hope will allow the reintroduction of local flora and fauna.

The project has attracted local and state government officials’ attention. State and federal authorities put a similar project into practice some 10 years ago in the San Miguel municipality communities of Juan Xidó, San Marcos, and Don Diego.

San Miguel Secretary of Government Gonzalo González told Atención that the officials recently visited the site to study the project and have contributed machinery and materials, including local trees and plants. Doña Juana residents could eventually be awarded some seasonal pay for the work they are doing, he added.


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