From: Associated Press
Published December 15, 2004 12:00 AM

Mexico Enacts Water Rights Plan to Help Save Endangered Chapala Lake

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Vicente Fox signed a water-allocation plan aimed at making better use of water from endangered Lake Chapala, the country's largest lake and a spot long popular among U.S. expatriates.


The plan will attempt to make water allocations from the Lerma river basin more transparent and accountable, while guaranteeing a flow of water from the river into Chapala, a large, shallow lake in the western state of Jalisco which had partly dried up in preceding years.


"We have to work as a team to save this great national water resource," Fox said at the signing ceremony.


Jalisco Gov. Francisco Ramirez Acuna said the agreement -- which aims to institute better water use techniques and conservation efforts -- "will provide sustainability for Chapala."


"This was always a big problem for our state, because we didn't have the means to make Chapala sustainable, and now we do," Ramirez Acuna said.


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Four other states -- Queretaro, Guanajuato, Michoacan and the State of Mexico -- also signed the accord, since they all use water from the Lerma-Chapala watershed.


The lake's beauty long impressed travelers, but in recent years it began to dry up and became infested with water lilies and other aquatic plants.


Source: Associated Press


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