SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — More than 600 as of Friday morning coloniesas well as no running water in Tijuana and Rosarito, where residents say service has been patchy for the past year.
Faced with the possibility of running out of water, the Tijuana State Public Services Commission, CESPT, contacted the San Diego County Water Board for help.
Agreements between Mexico and the United States allow for water supplies in emergencies or during severe droughts.
Last week, the San Diego-based agency began sending water to Tijuana.
The problem is compounded by the deterioration of Tijuana’s main aqueduct, which delivers water from the Colorado River, the city’s main source of water. So far the repair is taking longer than expected.
According to CESPT, more than 20 kilometers of lines have revealed problems that need to be addressed.
The city has been forced to shut off water to more than 40 percent of the population due to supply shortages and supply problems, and it is said that more could be lost in the coming weeks.
“How are you going to empty your toilet? how will you wash how do you want to take a shower?” asked Arturo Rosas, a resident of Tijuana.
Rosas told Border Report its water has been shut off since this morning, adding that it’s been horrendous since last year, with constant outages that can last up to weeks.
“Last time it went on for almost a month and everywhere you looked, everywhere you looked for water, it was gone.”
Rosas says many residents, including himself, use large water tanks to store water as it flows, but that supply is quickly running out.
“We’ll do it quickly,” he said.
Rosas said he and his neighbors would welcome any water from the US side of the border.
“That’s crazy, that means our water supply is really low, but when they help out, that’s amazing, you don’t see that often.”
According to SDCWA, emergency cross-border shipments began more than 50 years ago and are governed by an agreement between the United States and Mexico. And that the water agency is “providing emergency water supplies to Mexico through a cross-border connection at Otay Mesa.”
“We are very proud of how quickly Water Authority staff worked to meet the emergency water needs of our neighbors to the south,” said Mel Katz, Board Chair of the Water Authority. “Coordinating with multiple agencies and obtaining the necessary permits in just three days was a team effort and a credit to the Water Resources and Operations & Maintenance departments.”
CESPT has agreed to pay $2.2 million for emergency water by the end of February.
It also admitted to paying more than $4 million for water north of the border in the last five months of 2022.
The SDCWA wrote in a statement that “in accordance with the previously approved schedule, planned water deliveries will resume in April and continue through September 2023.