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BECC plays a key role in the Fourth 2030 Infrastructure Consultation Forum

Posted on July 21, 2017

BECC plays a key role in the Fourth 2030 Infrastructure Consultation Forum

On June 27, the 2030 Infrastructure Consultation Forum organized by the Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry (CMIC) and co-sponsored by Mexico´s Business Coordinating Council (CCE), was held in Ciudad Juarez. These types of meetings are organized with the purpose of establishing a framework to develop a National Sustainable Infrastructure Program. The fourth of the seven Forums scheduled throughout the country was entitled “Sustainable Urban Development with Affordable Housing.”

Maria Elena Giner, General Manager of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) participated in the panel discussion “Water Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities,” chaired by Manuel Becerra, Vice-President of CMIC-Water Sector and moderated by Roberto Olivares, Governor of the World Water Council for Mexico and Latin America.

During her participation, Maria Elena Giner stated that “water management has to evolve; it requires an update of existing laws that highlights water as an important input for the country's economic development and public health. It is urgent to amend existing laws or create new ones that include elements such as governance, strengthening water utilities, accountability, results, and also consider stormwater and reuse as a water resource,” she said. She believes that “water supply is very important for all aspects of human life and in this regard, it should be considered as the number one priority of any project.”

In addition, the BECC's General Manager also proposed including green infrastructure for stormwater management, a program that has been promoted by the binational institution in recent years. She said this type of infrastructure allows for on-site use of stormwater by incorporating low-impact development elements for rainfall collection and infiltration.

Roberto Olivares agreed on the importance of “having updated laws, a legal system and a regulatory framework that is binding and mandatory, where no one can escape the accountability scheme and above all, that provides transparency regarding water use.” He also added that Chihuahua has a good model through the Juntas Municipales (local water utilities), but there is still a need to improve the areas of “containment, water availability, and leak detection, to recover water flows and provide for water reuse to better address climate change,” he said.

Juan Pablo Castañón, President of the CCE, stated at the opening ceremony that “Ciudad Juarez is a strong example of positive transformation combining planning and above all, a clear vision of the fight against corruption and the implementation of good governance practices.”

In his remarks, Gustavo Arballo Lujan, National President of CMIC, commented that “[the organization’s] proposal is based on a realistic diagnosis of the status of infrastructure in Mexico, taking into account international experiences, as well as technical and practical foundations, to make infrastructure a means to strengthen competitiveness, productivity, and social inclusion in Mexico.” “Over the last three decades, the population of Mexico has doubled, but the urban surface of cities has grown seven times, which makes it expensive and difficult to provide for the orderly and sustainable development of cities,” he added.

Finally, Arballo Lujan said: “therefore, we must have water infrastructure policies that give us with the capacity to develop the projects required to meet the demand for water in urban areas. In addition, Mexico faces a serious problem with the pollution of water resources. According to CONAGUA, 32% of the country's surface water is contaminated.”

Towards the end of the Water Infrastructure panel discussion, Manuel Becerra recognized the “high degree of participation, which will allow for a very rich document to be achieved,” and stressed that the issue of water “must be elevated to a higher level of discussion and be given the importance it requires beyond analysis, which is important for the National Water Law. It is urgent to have a law that is in line with the current state of affairs, which considers climate change, new technologies, participation of the private sector, and water reuse, among many other issues that cannot be resolved due to the lack of an appropriate legal framework.”

The opening ceremony was attended by Javier Corral Jurado, Governor of the State of Chihuahua; Armando Cabada, Mayor of Ciudad Juarez; Juan Pablo Castañón, President of CCE; Alejandra de la Vega Arizpe, Secretary of Innovation and Economic Development of the State of Chihuahua; Arturo Davila Dozal, President of the CMIC Chihuahua Delegation; and Manuel Gilberto Contreras, President of CMIC Ciudad Juarez, among other distinguished guests.

Throughout the day, attendees discussed the different challenges that exist in the area of infrastructure, such as achieving proper urban development planning, meeting the need for adequate and accessible housing, organizing efficient urban mobility, providing basic services to the population, and achieving the optimal management of existing resources.

The organization of these forums is intended to help develop a proposal for a National Infrastructure Program with a vision towards the year 2030, considering plural public participation including input from builders, business chambers, the private sector, financial institutions, professional associations, universities and research centers, international organizations, specialists, legislators, and public officials of the three levels of government.




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