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ecollard

Sep 14, 2009, 6:50 AM

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Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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I am in the US at this time but just heard from our renter in Chapala that the whole town was without water, except for a few hours a day at very low pressure, for about a week recently. She heard it was either because the municipalidad had not paid its electric bill and CFE cut the pumps off OR the city cut off the pumps.
I also heard that there have been similar water issues in Poncitlan recently.
Does anyone know what's going on? I will be back in Chapala soon and would like to know what to expect.
Eileen



Hound Dog

Sep 14, 2009, 10:34 AM

Post #2 of 51 (13332 views)

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Re: [ecollard] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Things are never as they seem in Mexico. We live in Ajijic and there have been no water issues we are aware of although that doesn´t mean there aren´t any since we have a high capacity aljibe on our property. These issues are often political here in Mexico.Last year while we were living in our home in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the city cut off water which is normally delivered only on certain nights of the week. Everyone was blamed but it turned out that the biggest problems arose from the wealthy and hotels who refused to pay for water rather than the poor hillside poor neighborhhoods who were originally blamed for the crisis. Eventually we all received water again and the whole crisiis turned out to be a political joke. If you believe what you are told by the politically powerful in Mexico, just wait and you will be told something else shortly.

Water shortage in Chapala. I am rolling on the floor laughing.


Jimbo

Sep 14, 2009, 11:38 AM

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Re: [Hound Dog] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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I realize this is a Lake Chapala board, but I'm qualified cause my wife and I lived there for two years. We now live in Mazatlan and have for eight years. We've had virtually no daytime water for months now (we live in the older, colonial part of the city). Earlier this summer we had very little at night as well. Neighbors were having water trucked in. We were fine because we conserve and we have two huge tenakos on our roof and a cistern. The rumor here was that a huge new hotel, which had just opened, was getting all the water. That may just be true, but we've never seen any reporting regarding that in the local newspapers. The good news is a huge new reservoir is about to go into service, which, according to Jumapan, will provide the city with enough water for years. I'll believe it when I see it (and drink it), but it certainly can't hurt to have a large new water source.


Jim Bentein


Hound Dog

Sep 14, 2009, 12:28 PM

Post #4 of 51 (13311 views)

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Re: [Jimbo] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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I realize this is a Lake Chapala board, but I'm qualified cause my wife and I lived there for two years. We now live in Mazatlan and have for eight years. We've had virtually no daytime water for months now (we live in the older, colonial part of the city). Earlier this summer we had very little at night as well. Neighbors were having water trucked in.

That is rich!!!!

"Jimbo" Bentein left Lake Chapala eight years ago (2001) and moved to Mazatlan announcing with utmost certainty and absolute clarity that Lake Chapala was destined to shortly become a poisoned dead sea and then a dry lake bed absolutely and certainly doomed almost immediately not even to be more than a sad memory within five years and anyone who purchased property at Lake Chapala was a total moron destined to be living in dreadful ghost towns once named Chapala and Jocotepec with the the once beautiful lake now a Godforsaken dust bowl inhabited mainly by scorpions and poisonous lizards along with a few wretched Gabby Hayes characters living in RVs in a land reminiscent of the stinking Salton Sea in California. When, according to "Jimbo", the lake dried up, the climate would change and the valley with its dried up lakebed would become unbearably hot and cold and unlivable and almost immediately after Mr. Bentein left for Mazatlan, the lake miraculously refilled and now Jim is experiencing a water crisis in Mazatlan. If there is a God he/she has just spoken with the utmost good humor. Some of us remember you very well Jimbo and we know we all have feet of clay but please just do everyone a favor and do not resurrect the sad doomsayer of the beginning of the 21st Century who couild not have been more wrong if he had been Charlie Manson predicting his "Helter Skelter" race war.


Jimbo

Sep 14, 2009, 1:06 PM

Post #5 of 51 (13299 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Actually, that's not what I wrote at the time - and virtually all of my information came from Tony Burton, who now (I believe) runs this site. What I wrote was that the lake was in serious trouble, which it was. But I also hoped that the federal government would actually do what it said it was going to do and divert water from the Rio Verde to Guadalajara, which would go a long way towards saving Lake Chapala. At the time, Guadalajara was using about half of the lake's water and most experts - not just Tony - were saying that couldn't continue. I visited the area this August and I'm delighted the lake is back. I'm surprised, because I really didn't expect the government to do anything, but I'm delighted they did. I never wanted the lake to disappear. I just doubted there would be action to save it.
Incidentally, you'll remember some of the other things I was writing about at the time revolved around what I thought was a real estate bubble there starting to form. House prices were getting to ridiculous levels, even then. I also warned about the same bubble starting to form in the U.S. Gee, wonder if I was wrong about that one? Seem to be a lot of "se vende" signs scattered around the Lakeside. Here too in Mazatlan. And, by the way, our "lake" here in Mazatlan is fine.


Manuel Dexterity

Sep 14, 2009, 1:26 PM

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Re: [Jimbo] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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The lake refilled thanks to Tlaloc, not the government.


Hound Dog

Sep 14, 2009, 1:58 PM

Post #7 of 51 (13284 views)

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Re: [Jimbo] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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At the time, Guadalajara was using about half of the lake's water and most experts - not just Tony - were saying that couldn't continue. I visited the area this August and I'm delighted the lake is back. I'm surprised, because I really didn't expect the government to do anything, but I'm delighted they did.

Jim:

I´m sorry but could you please tell us what "the government" did? I was under the impression the lake refilled during the 2003 God-induced floods that devastated the Rio Lerma basin and caused extensive and terrible damage to agricultural lands in Guanajuato State and elsewhere which required that the water management agency release water downstream to prevent further flood damage from poorly managed and dangerously overfilled reservoirs. I would also appreciate an explanation regarding the diversion of water from the "Rio Verde" to Guadalajara as I am unfamiliar with that project or the significance of that water source. The lake is once again suffering as there is a drought upstream this rainy season and reservoirs upriver are at only fractional capacity so is it your information that the megalopolis of Guadajalajara and agricultural users upstream desperately in need of scarce water resources are willing to forego their normal, crop saving water allocation in order to maintain the lake´s present capacity for aesthetic purposes for the benefit of Lake Chapala hill dwellers even though thousands of acres of croplands have become unproductive at present due to the seasonal lack of rain?

I´m just having some difficulty following you on this subjct.


Jimbo

Sep 14, 2009, 2:01 PM

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Re: [Tio Copas] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Could you elaborate? "Thanks to Tlaloc". To be honest, I haven't really followed the lake situation since I moved from there, except for occasional glances at the Guadalajara Reporter. I always thought the Arcediano dam project was the ultimate solution, although I understand why there has been opposition to the project (can the river water be cleaned up enough to make it drinkable). But, it still strikes me that if a new source of water isn't found for Guadalajara, Lake Chapala is still imperilled. And I write this not out of malice. My posts in the past weren't out of malice. I didn't want to see the lake disappear. There just didn't seem to be any way out, with Guad growing like crazy and Lake Chapala being its main source of drinking water. Am I missing something?
Incidentally, I'm a working journalist again (couldn't handle the retirement thing very well) and I do write about things like this (mostly for Canadian newspapers), so it's important for me to understand this. Also, I still have a lot of friends in the Chapala area and I still have a soft spot for the area.
Mexico has huge problems countrywide with water, which I suspect everyone on this board knows.

Jim Bentein


Jimbo

Sep 14, 2009, 2:05 PM

Post #9 of 51 (13279 views)

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Re: [Jimbo] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Mexico Water and Waste, 8 August 2003 This is a date article (2003), but explains the Arcediano project very well. It was seen as the salvation of Lake Chapala. Funding has since been found for much of the project, but there have been strong objections to it from environmentalists and I don't believe construction has started yet. As I posted elsewhere here, it always seems to me to be the only long-term solution to "saving lake Chapala", even given its environmental implications. publicatiedatum 11-08-2003

Ceas expects initial Arcediano dam works Oct. - Mexico
Tuesday, August 5, 2003 16:59 (GMT-0400)
(BNamericas.com) Mexico's Jalisco state waterworks authority Ceas expects to begin initial works on the six-year Arcediano dam project in October, El Informador quoted Ceas sources as saying.
The project will begin with complimentary works, such as the construction of a diversion tunnel from the Verde river, access roads and perforations. Project studies are still underway and Ceas estimates formal works to begin early 2004.
The US$622mn dam, to be built at the confluence of the Verde and Santiago rivers, would provide drinking water to state capital Guadalajara.
The dam will supply the city with drinking water for more than a decade and will reduce extractions from Chapala lake, allowing the lake to replenish.
The national public works bank Banobras is willing to fund the project, and will work with the national water commission (CNA), the Jalisco state government and local municipalities to hammer out the most favorable financing conditions, the paper quoted CEAS general manager Felipe Calderon Hinojosa as saying in April.
Guadalajara, the country's third-largest city, has some 3 million residents.


Manuel Dexterity

Sep 14, 2009, 2:13 PM

Post #10 of 51 (13276 views)

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Re: [Jimbo] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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In Reply To
Could you elaborate? "Thanks to Tlaloc".


You mean an academic such as yourself who has lived in Mexico for around a decade cannot decipher that statement?

It rained amigo. Now google tlaloc.


Hound Dog

Sep 14, 2009, 2:34 PM

Post #11 of 51 (13263 views)

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Re: [ecollard] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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 am in the US at this time but just heard from our renter in Chapala that the whole town was without water, except for a few hours a day at very low pressure, for about a week recently. She heard it was either because the municipalidad had not paid its electric bill and CFE cut the pumps off OR the city cut off the pumps.
I also heard that there have been similar water issues in Poncitlan recently.
Does anyone know what's going on? I will be back in Chapala soon and would like to know what to expect.
Eileen


Eileen:

This is a standard joke among municipalities in parts of Mexico. It is illegal for municipalities to cut off the vital water resource to their human constituents unlike the U.S. where the public be damned. The municipality, therefore, simply refuses pay their electric bills and CFE, which operates under no such standard, turns off the electricity thereby disabling the pumps. That´s what they did in San Cristóbal de Las Casas and, by God, the wealthy jerks who had refused to pay their water bills paid up and I´ll tell you why they did. The poor indigenous folks up the hill in the hillside slums told them that if they did not do so they would lynch them. In Chiapas they understand the basics of life and death. Water shortage in Chapala my butt.


gpkgto

Sep 14, 2009, 2:59 PM

Post #12 of 51 (13243 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Almost all of Mexico (Chiapas may be the exception) is suffering from a water shortage and failure of aquifers to recharge. Overdevelopment, poor infrastructure and general waste is rapidly causing a problem whch all of us here may live to see become a crisis. Hopefully we are all conserving as much as possible. Among other things, we are reducing the size of our garden to save water.


Hound Dog

Sep 14, 2009, 3:30 PM

Post #13 of 51 (13239 views)

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Re: [gpkisner] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Correct gp but the initiators of this thread are not truly aware of the problem.

No question that there has been no proper planning for water usage nor adequate infrastruture for water delivery and sanitary disposal but this is a complex issue just as it is the world over so let´s not go there at present. At the present time, the municipality of Jocotepec is engaged in the absurd overdevelopment of that town and corruption is rampant. It is obscene what they are doing.

According to the CNA, the biggest water problem in Metropolitan Guadalajara is that about 40% of water is wasted through leakage because of inadequate infrastructure including gross waste from tinacos. This Jim Bentein is so far over his head he could drown in non-existent water.

This is far too complex an issue to be resolved here but the notion that municipal planning refilled Lake Chapala is so absurd that this sorry idea needs to be strongly refuted. The God Tio called Tlaloc refilled Lake Chapala and replenished the basin and Tlaloc is a force of nature. That´s simply the way it is.


johanson


Sep 14, 2009, 4:20 PM

Post #14 of 51 (13235 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Here is an interesting link showing the change in lake level over the past three years. What I find amazing, considering how little rain we have been having since the beginning of Sept. is that the lake level is going up again. It must be raining somewhere or maybe they are opening up the dams up-river.

http://ceajalisco.gob.mx/comportamiento/Chapala.html


ecollard

Sep 14, 2009, 6:14 PM

Post #15 of 51 (13204 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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I don't think that any of the replies to my initial question is on point. I'm not referring to a general water shortage. I'm asking about a specific problem with water provision in Chapala within the past couple of weeks that supposedly lasted for a week or so. Is there anyone out there who currently lives in Chapala and knows first-hand what's going on?
Eileen


NEOhio1


Sep 14, 2009, 6:58 PM

Post #16 of 51 (13192 views)

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Re: [ecollard] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Of course, you are asking about something specific. Sorry. We are what we are and the arrival of Jimbo was enopugh to throw us off your question.

I haven't heard anyone mention no water in Chapala.


Brigitte Ordoquy

Sep 14, 2009, 8:41 PM

Post #17 of 51 (13177 views)

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Re: [ecollard] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Ask RV Gringo he lives on Chapala and is up on the local news. If you cannot contact him on this forum go to Chapala.com and ask him. He also posts on Expatforum.com


bournemouth

Sep 15, 2009, 7:06 AM

Post #18 of 51 (13134 views)

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Re: [ecollard] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Eileen - there was a partial problem of lack of water in Chapala a few weeks ago but it is over now I understand. But not in the last couple of weeks. You can probably track down the thread on Chapala.com web board if you search for it.


viejogatomalo

Sep 15, 2009, 10:05 AM

Post #19 of 51 (13102 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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There is no water in Chapala (where I live ... Centro) and not for three days and nights.My pump is broken. I am starting to stink!


Peter


Sep 15, 2009, 10:35 AM

Post #20 of 51 (13091 views)

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Re: [johanson] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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In Reply To
What I find amazing, considering how little rain we have been having since the beginning of Sept. is that the lake level is going up again. It must be raining somewhere ...


Are you being serious? It's been dry here in Morelia all summer up to the end of August. All this month it has been raining like normal, at last. Is the rain now under the same management as our municipal water, where it gets shut off to your colonia so we can get some in mine?

Yes, it's raining somewhere, finally.


bournemouth

Sep 15, 2009, 11:12 AM

Post #21 of 51 (13087 views)

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Re: [viejomalogato] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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Viejo - can you remember what the last problem was? There were all sorts of stories from non payment of CFE bill so the pumps weren't working, to broken pumps etc. etc.

I hope for your sake that it comes back on soon.


viejogatomalo

Sep 16, 2009, 12:14 PM

Post #22 of 51 (12999 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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The time previous it was declared on the other forum that the pumps had broken ....... ?
We had water this morning for a short period. We'll see how long that lasts.
I am still suspicous that the water people are supplying the new rich people and their fine houses on the hills, to our loss (while us poor humble common people do without)


(This post was edited by viejomalogato on Sep 16, 2009, 12:19 PM)


Hound Dog

Sep 17, 2009, 1:36 PM

Post #23 of 51 (12924 views)

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Re: [viejomalogato] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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I am still suspicous that the water people are supplying the new rich people and their fine houses on the hills, to our loss (while us poor humble common people do without)

And if my memory does not escape me; two plus two equals four. Tell me; how often does the the Chicken Bus arrive in Huehetenago before the bus change to Tapachula and does the bus stop in Mars to pick up the people of the Earwax who never heard anything that seemed incongruent to their isolated view of the universe because they had no desire to do so and no basis for comparison. Who do you folks make fun of in your dsily ruminations before you succeed in looking back at yourselves for the true jocular feasts of the day?


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Sep 17, 2009, 1:37 PM)


Hound Dog

Sep 17, 2009, 6:27 PM

Post #24 of 51 (12892 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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OK, after all that, I wish to thank Jim Bentein for sounding the alarm and appropriately so regarding the inexcusably irresponsible management of Lake Chapala and the Lerma Basin. The same irresponsible water management exists in the Western U.S. but whether here or there or in a thousand other places, we all suffer as do those coming later.

I was seemingly making light of Jim´s remarks because of his previously alarmist views but I must admit his concerns remain crucial today despite the temporary resurgence of the lake level.

Now, I must admit a prejudice. One of the reasons, perhaps a central reason, we chose West Ajijic as a place to settle in our retirement years in 2001 versus more urbanized environments such as our other altenatives of, among other places, San Miguel or Cuernavaca or Mérida or Oaxaca City or Guadalajara or Veracruz City was because we were enchanted by the empty lake bed that allowed us to walk our giant mastiffs along long dry,, lonely lakebeds covered with trees and scrub forests all the way from Eastern La Floresta to San Juan Cosala which was a distance of some 20 kilometers more or less and that whole area was either deserted or interspersed with truck farms and cattle herds and small, filthy dairies and fishermens´ hardscrabble shack communities and redoubts of drunken losers and drug addicts and lost bars and taco joints and, in season, tents beckoning drunks and families swilling beer or orange soda and feasting on indigestible fried crap and then, by God, along came Tlaloc and refilled the lake and disspossed all those losers including me and my dogs and I frigging miss that place that is forever gone with the tides iand th rains n my lifetime and I guess I took it out on Jim whose fault it was not.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Sep 17, 2009, 6:51 PM)


Jimbo

Sep 18, 2009, 2:15 PM

Post #25 of 51 (12828 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Rumor check re: Water in Chapala

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No apology required. I just hope the local, state and national government officials realize how important it is to save the lake. Is the solution the dam? I'm not enough of an expert to know. But I do know that what has brought the lake back these last few years is unlikely to be a sustainable solution. It's a Mexican-wide problem, but it would be an absolute disgrace if the lake and that beautiful area of Mexico are victims of largely irresponsible management of the lake and the rivers that feed it.


Jim Bentein
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