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BECC on promoting a water culture

Posted on August 01, 2013

BECC on promoting a water culture

Open community participation is a valuable tool to improve the equity level of decision-making processes, optimize their quality, and legitimize them, as it can be an innovative force to create environmental awareness in communities under a long-term vision, said Gonzalo Bravo, Communications Manager of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), during his keynote address: "The Role of the Media in Promoting a Water Culture.

A point made during the lecture was that communities need to understand the existing issues and intended solutions, and build the necessary consensus and acceptance for the proposed tasks.

Mr. Bravo delivered his keynote speech on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the 10th National Water Culture Conference (ENCA) held in Chihuahua City, where top experts in the field met to share ideas, provide input and issue recommendations regarding the use and care of valuable water resources. 

The binational official presented the experience of the BECC and the North American Development Bank (NADB) in areas where the media plays a key role in enhancing the water culture, including capacity building for water utilities and planning and community participation. He mentioned various communication tools that have been used by the two institutions in the public participation processes undertaken for project certification and financing, such as content analysis, fact sheets and media campaigns developed by citizen committees. The use of these tools has certainly led to better reporting and dissemination of the public works developed throughout the border, while it also has contributed to the sustainability of the region.  

He spoke about the origins of the BECC and the NADB, two binational organizations that have an innovative structure, including a joint Board of Directors with representation of the civil society, as well as state and federal governments, tax authorities, and the foreign relations and environmental agencies of both the U.S. and Mexico. 

He highlighted the most relevant results achieved by the BECC and NADB in their 17 years in existence, especially in the areas of water and wastewater, and their significant advances in wastewater collection and treatment coverage along the U.S.-Mexico border. He also underscored their 25 water conservation projects, including technical upgrades to different irrigation systems, particularly District 005 in Delicias, which have resulted in significant water savings in a high-water demand sector. 

In closing the activities of the 10th National Water Culture Conference held on April 23-25, Water Culture Manager Carla Grieger, joined the co-hosts, Raul Javalera, Chairman of the Junta Central del Agua and Roberto Olivares, General Director of the National Association of Water and Sanitation, in declaring the event a success, as it had more than 2,500 attendees, 31 lectures from recognized experts in the field, and 52 stands in its exhibit area, where the BECC had substantial participation. 




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