In December 2016, representatives from the SUBSOL partners adelphi and DBT visited the replication sites in the Valley of Maneadero, Baja California and the target market in the Peninsula of Yucatan in Mexico. In scheduled visits with important local groups of stakeholders related to the issue of water resources management and the problems of water scarcity and saline intrusion in their aquifers, our Subsol partners had the opportunity to assess the state of replication and its drivers and barriers as to prepare the upcoming PTA in Maneadero and present the project’s innovative SWS i.e. Freshwater, ASR-Coastal and Freshmaker and jointly evaluate the possibility of their application in Yucatan.
The meetings gathered a selected and diverse group of key stakeholders, including important Mexican environmental authorities such as the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources-SEMARNAT, the National Water Commission-CONAGUA, Secretariat of Agricultural Development-SEFOA, Technical Committee of Underground Waters-COTAS. Likewise, administrative heads of the public water supply companies of Baja California and the Peninsula of Yucatan. Also, an important group of researchers from recognized research centers such as the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada-CICESE and the laboratory of Biochemistry and water quality in Yucatan of the UNAM made their contribution with presentations and evaluation of their results. Not less important, they counted with an active and enthusiastic participation of groups of end users who shared and discussed about their experiences regarding the current water supply situation and the problems they face in order to obtain the precious liquid vital to their agricultural, consumption and commercial activities in their regions.
Among the most important topics that formed part of the meetings with the stakeholders, were the legislative framework that applies to water infiltration processes to recharge aquifers -and the possibility of using reclaimed water to recharge them, the situation of the water supply in the region, the phenomenon of saline intrusion and salinization of wells for drinking and production water supply and their great impact that these problems have on the agricultural production in the area. The sustainability of existing alternatives in these regions to solve these problems was evaluated in the presence of the innovative alternatives SWS promoted by the project Subsol. In addition, there was the unique opportunity not only to interact with these different groups of stakeholders, but also to evaluate the degree of interaction between them, which is of fundamental importance for the achievement of mutual solutions.
In general, the mission had a great success and was received with great interest from each of the participants. The objective of establishing contact with policy makers related to water management and those directly affected by the problem around it, particularly in the replication site of Valley of Maneadero in Baja California, confirms that the SWS have an immense potential for their application. However, this effort is only possible by continuing in constant cooperation and working hand to hand with each of these groups of stakeholders. Therefore, Subsol remains true to the newly established relationships and efforts to mutual work, committed with the possibility of implementing the pilot project in particular in the Valley of Maneadero, where the situation of water shortage and increasing salinization of wells is critical and requires immediate and dynamic action for its prompt solution.
Please find an impression of the mission below