Jalisco: Lake Chapala water pollution a serious problem for residents

Lake Chapala, in imminent danger

The phosphorus of detergents and agrochemicals is, together with nitrogen – the fertilizer’s research – the main cause of the eutrophication that is destroying Lake Chapala. This phenomenon consists of the proliferation of algae, lilies, and weeds that cause high oxygen in the water and the death of the fish, with the consequent degradation of the local biomass.

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Added the excess in water expenditure by man, the high levels of pollution due mainly to industrial discharges, as well as the lack and good management of wastewater treatment plants are some of the main problems that affect the Lake de Chapala, one of the most studied in Latin America but which in turn is in imminent danger, warn representatives of Global Nature Found and the  Living Lakes Network , and researchers from the University of Guadalajara, the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) , the Government of Jalisco, the Society of Friends of Lake Chapala, AC and the Cuenca Lerma-Lago de Chapala-Santiago Foundation, AC

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Communities demand intervention for pollution of Lake Chapala.

Representatives of communities affected by pollution, especially in Lake Chapala or by water projects in Jalisco, demanded the deputies of the special commission for Integral Water Management with whom they met in a forum, to intervene to stop the serious problem that above all it causes havoc in public health.

Enrique Lira Coronado, one of the activists who in recent years has stood out for the denunciation and defense of residents of the riverside of Chapala, especially in the municipality of Poncitlán where several studies have found a very high incidence of kidney disease among the inhabitants more marginalized, he urged with tears in his eyes that lawmakers intervene in what he called a health emergency.

“The Chapala riverbank was a paradise until the year 1970, before the pollution took its toll. The progress river (Lerma) above decreased the quality of life downstream, so that today neither the same people of the riverbank want to eat fish from Chapala after knowing the studies that show the existence of heavy metals, including mercury, “he complained.

He reiterated the most dramatic case, that of Agua Caliente, in Poncitlán, where people “are dying of poverty and injustice, not of disease,” despite multiple promises from the federal, state and municipal governments. public services such as drainage and nearby medical attention.

“And still (the authorities) say it’s inexplicable why the villagers are getting sick from the kidneys. You should go, accompany us so that they see live what happens, “he added.

He recalled that official studies of the water system for the metropolitan area have determined that Guadalajara gets water with concentrations of aluminum “up to 10 thousand times above the norm.”

Francisco de los Santos, member of the coca community of Mezcala and who donated one of his kidneys to a patient, said that this type of forums are important but like other authorities the legislators continue showing their scant interest because, for example, “It is not worth that we come to spend money when we do not have”.

“You are waiting here for the reports but you will not see. Go, there is no clean water to bathe, we want to help all the kidney patients with a discount card because to come to Guadalajara we have to pay for transportation, sometimes we do not eat and we do not have a place to sleep, “he said.

Other villagers explained that in the Cajititlán lagoon, near Chapala but within the municipality of Tlajomulco, in addition to the constant deaths of thousands of fish, no fisherman can obtain the white fish characteristic of that body of water.

In addition organisms like the Mexican Institute for Community Development or the Committee Salvemos Temacapulín, Acasico and Palmarejo, also fought for the water of the Verde River in the Altos de Jalisco region not be dammed in El Zapotillo and then transferred by an aqueduct to León, Guanajuato, before the seriousness of the shortage of the vital liquid for the state.

The legislators received the documentation and committed themselves to carrying out a thorough study of all the complaints to generate public policies that, from the outset, stop the damage to health among the most vulnerable population.

Environmentalists worry about pesticide and fertilizer contamination in Lake Chapala and its basin. Therefore, coordinated action is required from municipalities, the Government of Jalisco and the Federation, warned Alejandro Juárez Aguilar, director of the Heart of the Earth Institute, during the Integral Management Symposium of Lake Chapala and its Basin. The fields of corn, sorghum, alfalfa and chickpea, located in La Barca, Jamay and Poncitlán, use pesticides and fertilizers, in addition to the berry crops, which are located in Jocotepec and Tuxcueca.

Source: La Jornada, Contenido, Canal 44

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