What example will Baja California Sur set?

Baja California Sur has the opportunity to show it's possible to revert the problem of water scarcity or expose the lack of commitment towards sustainable development in Mexico

What example will Baja California Sur set?
La Paz, Baja California Sur – Photo: Juan Carlos Reyes G./EL UNIVERSAL
English 17/06/2018 09:20 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 09:23
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In economy, we always say there are two Mexicos: the North and the South. The development and quality of life of the northern states highly contrast with the poverty and lack of industrialization of southern states such as Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas.

Regarding natural resources, it's the other way around. One of the clearest examples is in water resources: water scarcity is a constant problem for Coahuila, Durango, and Chiapas, while Tabasco and Yucatán have water supplies in abundance.

At present, one of the states which suffers a serious crisis due to water scarcity is Baja California Sur (BCS). EL UNIVERSAL informs that today this is the state where it rains the less, in addition to the lack of development of water collection systems.

The numbers of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) are revealing: from 1981 to 2010, average annual precipitation in BCS was 168 mm, while in the Yucatán Penninsula it was 1,200 mm.

Local authorities acknowledge that water is supplied per areas and time schedules, and even so they barely cover the supply of 50% of consumers.

The situation becomes worse when we consider the explosive demographic growth that tourism has brought. In 25 years, the BCS's population doubled, going from 325,000 inhabitants to over 712,000 in 2015. With the problem of water scarcity, the news that this year the state plans to build 5,000 hotel rooms more doesn't seem that good.

Now more than ever it's becoming necessary to foster planned tourism so the thousands of visitors don't encounter the two faces of a same geographical reality: luxury and full services for the hotels and resorts, and the severe needs of the inhabitants of the area just a few kilometers away.

Despite the crisis caused by water scarcity, the state isn't known for its rainwater water management. The water brought by hurricanes isn't taken advantaged of because there aren't enough water collection systems.

The almost permanent drought Baja California Sur experiences should be a priority for authorities, the population, and environmental groups. Projects need to be developed so inhabitants stop receiving water from water tank trucks once a month and to raise awareness among the population regarding water so the future of the state can be different.

Baja California may become the best example in Mexico that it is possible to revert the problem of water scarcity but it can also expose the lack of commitment towards sustainable development and cause great social tragedies. Let's hope in a few years we can say it was the former.

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