Blue Planet Project organizer Claudia Campero.
Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow has tweeted, “Huge victory!”
This is because, as Telesur reports, “A Mexican congressional vote on proposed legislation that could lead to the privatization of the administration and distribution of Mexico’s water has been delayed. As a result of a unanimous vote Monday [March 9] by the political coordination commissions of Mexico’s House of Deputies [the lower house of the Congress of the Union, the bicameral legislature of Mexico], the General Water Law will be taken off of Tuesday’s list of debate and vote until ‘further notice’.”
BNamericas adds “The lower house of Mexico’s congress has postponed discussion of a water bill in order to listen to all observations and points of view from civil organizations and left-wing movements… Congress had been scheduled to approve the bill on Tuesday [March 10] after lawmakers of the ruling centrist PRI [Institutional Revolutionary Party], right-wing opposition PAN [National Action Party] and from the PVEM green party approved the proposed legislation on March 4 in the committee stage.”
Mexican civil society opposed this legislation, as did the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and Citizens Movement Party and Regeneration Movement Party (MORENA).
The main civil society concerns with the bill were:
it set a fine of 3.5 million pesos ($229,000) for companies that contaminate rivers, well short of the 20 billion pesos it has cost in Mexico to restore two rivers polluted by a mining company
it allowed firms to transport water from one state to another via pipelines, such as the Monterrey VI aqueduct
it stipulated that people have the right to consume only 50 litres of water per day, despite the World Health Organization recommendation of 100 litres per person per day
it allowed the water commission Conagua to award contracts to private companies to design, build, operate and maintain water infrastructure
it omitted the right to sanitation
it defined water as being in the ‘national interest’ (which the state could see as water for mining and fracking), rather than recognizing the human right to water.
Mexico City-based Blue Planet Project organizer Claudia Campero worked to stop this legislation.
In the BNamericas news article, she says, “It is estimated that a shale gas well requires between 9,000 and 29,000 cubic metres of water per well. The water leaves its hydrological cycle when it’s used for fracking… the water from the wells is water that cannot be cleaned with existing technology.”
Congratulations to the Coalition of Mexican Organizations for the Right to Water, Greenpeace Mexico, Fresh Water, the Mexican Alliance against Fracking and everyone who opposed this legislation.
Further reading (with additional quotes from Campero):