World Water Crisis: Ecology effort streams new life into Mexican region
For regions that depend on rainwater, lack of showers can mean the difference between life and death. In Mexico, one non-profit organization is seeking to place water in communities affected by such conditions where water is in dire need. CGTN's Alasdair Baverstock reports.
Oaxaca, a mountainous and impoverished region of southern Mexico. There is a dry and rainy season but for the past four decades, water has been scarce all year round. That's according to conservationist Juan Jose Consejo, with the Institute of Nature and Society in Oaxaca, a non-profit group that supports sustainable development in the region. He has done some creative landscaping to show how to improve the water shortage.
JUAN JOSE CONSEJO EL PEDREGAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT "The key is not just about providing water for different activities, or for homes or for people, but regaining what we call the 'hydro social balance'. It's not about only the natural cycle, which is important, but also the way that humans interact with this cycle."
A once barren gully on a hillside above the state capital, the kilometer-square patch of land named El Pedregal has been transformed into an oasis of biodiversity and life. Thanks to the Aguaxaca project which has changed the way its landscape has been engineered to manage rainwater.
ALASDAIR BAVERSTOCK OAXACA, MEXICO "The rapid and unplanned urbanization of Oaxaca's central valleys has made rainwater flow quickly on the surface, causing flooding and washing away valuable topsoil. The Aguaxaca project aims to slow down the water flow through natural creeks and reservoirs and filter it back into the earth, refilling aquifers and giving the population a reliable source of water."
As well as standing as an example of innovative ecology in action, El Pedregal produces organic produce, compost and even fish, providing incomes to those who live here.
As international recognition boosts the project's profile, the founders hope that its message will be heard much closer to home. Alasdair Baverstock, CGTN, Oaxaca State, Mexico.