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Jim Bentein

Feb 2, 2003, 4:26 PM

Post #76 of 77 (2448 views)

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Re: [jonvedder] Condition of Laguna de Chapala

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I really can't speak with any authority on the lake situation, having not lived there for almost two years and (frankly) not having kept up with the situation. However, I doubt things have changed significantly. Tony Burton's articles on the lake, which are still available on Mexconnect, offer a wealth of information. Bottom line remains that the lake is, indeed, dying. But that doesn't mean it's dead - yet. However, as long as Guadalajara continues to rely on the lake as its main water source those trying to save it are fighting a losing battle. The lake has recovered somewhat in the last year or two because the area experienced a decent rainy season. But, fact is, rainfall only accounts for about 50% of the lake's volume. The rest must come from the Lerma River - and that is not happening because farmers and other users upstream capture the flow before it is discharged into Chapala. The lake is about one-tenth of its historic size now. Without a consistent, long term solution it will gradually disappear. That means Guadalajara must find another permament source. Various alternatives, including tapping the Rio Verde and deepwater wells, will cost hundreds of millions of dollars - money Mexico doesn't appear to have.

Meanwhile, the lake could survive in its present reduced state if Guadalajarans and Lakeside residents practice conservation. Use desertscape for your yards. Build cisterns and use recycled brown water. In short, stretch this diminished resource. In the five or six years my wife and I traveled to and/or lived in the Lakeside we read often of ambitious plans to conserve water in Guadalajara. But nothing substantive ever happened. Short term unless you all practice what you preach and conserve there is little hope. Long term the only hope is the federal government and Jalisco finding about $1 billion U.S. to provide another water source to Guadalajara. The city has grown form 250,000 to about 4-5 million in 40 years. The Lakeside has seen its population grow from pueblito size to city size. All of that growth requires water - water the area simply doesn't have.


JR Cortesi

Feb 2, 2003, 9:48 PM

Post #77 of 77 (2414 views)

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Re: [Jim Bentein] Condition of Laguna de Chapala

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just one observation

Guadalajara's population reached 1 million in 1969, 34 years ago, and its current population is 3.5 million. I don't think its population grew from 250,000 to 1,000,000 in just 6 years. I have just read this in the Guadalajara website. So, I don't know how accurate the rest of your information actually is.

Regards
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