The Santiago River in the days before industrial development crowded its banks.
People who live along the Grande de Santiago River near Guadalajara, Mexico, are all too familiar with the chronic pollution harrying their heavily industrialized communities. Yet they were rattled all the same by news that a study documenting the serious local health consequences of that contamination had not been made public until this past January, no less than nine years after it had been completed. “It was a shock,” says Alan Carmona, spokesperson for Un Salto de Vida, a collective of activists pushing for cleanup of the river and the communities along it. “It was very painful.” Small wonder, then, that the Santiago River is among the targets of a National River Basin Restoration Plan being pursued by the Mexican government’s lead environmental agency, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat). The plan, slated for implementation during 2020-24, targets five other highly polluted water sources—the Tula River in... [Log in to read more]