The core of Caminos de Agua´s work is defined by the boundaries of the Independence Watershed Region - seven municipalities, connected by water, in northern Guanajuato. By concentrating on water problems in our region, we offer solutions to many different watersheds and weave together international partnerships at the same time.
WATER CONTAMINATION IN THE INDEPENDENCE
The Independence watershed region has struggled with water for decades; especially in rural, small-scale farming regions. With the advent of tube well technology, the Independence Watershed Region began drilling wells and extracting water at unsustainable rates, beginning in the late 1940s. By 1983, the Independence Aquifer, which lies just below the watershed, was found to be in decline due to the fact that the rate of extraction continues to exceed what can be recharged through rain and surface water. To this day, the aquifer is considered to be in a permanent state of decline.
This water decline is not only making water more scare, but it is concentrating levels of naturally existing metals and minerals (that are found in the lower, fractured, section of the aquifer) to toxic levels. Specifically, arsenic and fluoride levels are found to exceed both national and international norms throughout the watershed. Fluoride, illustrated above, has been found at levels more than 12 times the allowable limit in some communities.